Estimation of disability weights in the general population of South Korea using a paired comparison

Minsu Ock, Jeonghoon Ahn, Seok Jun Yoon, Min Woo Jo

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26 Scopus citations


We estimated the disability weights in the South Korean population by using a paired comparison- only model wherein 'full health' and 'being dead' were included as anchor points, without resorting to a cardinal method, such as person trade-off. The study was conducted via 2 types of survey: a household survey involving computer-assisted face-to-face interviews and a web-based survey (similar to that of the GBD 2010 disability weight study). With regard to the valuation methods, paired comparison, visual analogue scale (VAS), and standard gamble (SG) were used in the household survey, whereas paired comparison and population health equivalence (PHE) were used in the web-based survey. Accordingly, we described a total of 258 health states, with 'full health' and 'being dead' designated as anchor points. In the analysis, 4 models were considered: a paired comparison-only model; hybrid model between paired comparison and PHE; VAS model; and SG model. A total of 2,728 and 3,188 individuals participated in the household and web-based survey, respectively. The Pearson correlation coefficients of the disability weights of health states between the GBD 2010 study and the current models were 0.802 for Model 2, 0.796 for Model 1, 0.681 for Model 3, and 0.574 for Model 4 (all P-values<0.001). The discrimination of values according to health state severity was most suitable in Model 1. Based on these results, the paired comparison-only model was selected as the best model for estimating disability weights in South Korea, and for maintaining simplicity in the analysis. Thus, disability weights can be more easily estimated by using paired comparison alone, with 'full health' and 'being dead' as one of the health states. As noted in our study, we believe that additional evidence regarding the universality of disability weight can be observed by using a simplified methodology of estimating disability weights.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0162478
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Ock et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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