Updating disability weights for measurement of healthy life expectancy and disability-adjusted life year in Korea

Young Eun Kim, Min Woo Jo, Hyesook Park, In Hwan Oh, Seok Jun Yoon, Jeehee Pyo, Minsu Ock

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13 Scopus citations


Background: The present study aimed to update the methodology to estimate cause-specific disability weight (DW) for the calculation of disability adjusted life year (DALY) and health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE) based on the opinion of medical professional experts. Furthermore, the study also aimed to compare and assess the size of DW according to two analytical methods and estimate the most valid DW from the perspective of years lost due to disability and HALE estimation. Methods: A self-administered web-based survey was conducted ranking five causes of disease. A total of 901 participants started the survey and response data of 806 participants were used in the analyses. In the process of rescaling predicted probability to DW on a scale from 0 to 1, two models were used for two groups: Group 1 (physicians and medical students) and Group 2 (nurses and oriental medical doctors). In Model 1, predicted probabilities were rescaled according to the normal distribution of DWs. In Model 2, the natural logarithms of predicted probabilities were rescaled according to the asymmetric distribution of DWs. Results: We estimated DWs for a total of 313 causes of disease in each model and group. The mean of DWs according to the models in each group was 0.490 (Model 1 in Group 1), 0.378 (Model 2 in Group 1), 0.506 (Model 1 in Group 2), and 0.459 (Model 2 in Group 2), respectively. About two-thirds of the causes of disease had DWs of 0.2 to 0.4 in Model 2 in Group 1. In Group 2, but not in Group 1, there were some cases where the DWs had a reversed order of severity. Conclusion: We attempted to calculate DWs of 313 causes of disease based on the opinions of various types of medical professionals using the previous analysis methods as well as the revised analysis method. The DWs from this study can be used to accurately estimate DALY and health life expectancy, such as HALE, in the Korean population.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE219
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number27
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.


  • Burden of disease
  • Disability weight
  • Ranking method
  • Republic of korea


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