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Understanding the Functions & Benefits of a Health Utility Survey & Index

Health providers require flexible tools for calculating health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with precision—and life sciences companies need innovative tools to prove value in the product lifecycle. Instruments for accomplishing both goals aren’t always widely applicable, convenient, straightforward or fully responsive to the health changes patients experience. This is why organizations across the healthcare continuum are increasingly turning to health utility surveys.


Learn more about the function and primary application benefits of health utility surveys to understand their growing adoption in clinical research and pharmaceutical delivery.


What Is a Health Utility Survey?

A health utility survey is a type of clinical outcome assessment or, more specifically, a patient-reported outcome (PRO) measure. It is a scientifically proven assessment designed for patients that consists of carefully worded questions covering several key areas of their personal health experience, such as physical functioning, social functioning, mental health, role limitations, pain and vitality. Responses to the assessment are reflected in a single health utility score. Health utility surveys are often short in length to ease the burden on patients completing them. They can be administered in traditional paper form, through a designated interviewer or via digital modes like computers, tablets and smartphones. As versatile tools, PRO health utility surveys are compatible with large sets of general population and disease group data and are most often used in pharmacoeconomics to compare the overall benefit of one pharmaceutical drug or therapy to another.


What Is a Health Utility Index?

A health utility index is a summary index of HRQoL on a scale that ranges from zero to one. Information derived from a health utility survey score can be used to generate insights for economic evaluation studies led by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. It may be used to calculate quality-adjusted life years for cost-utility analyses or serve as a quality weight for determining quality-adjusted life expectancy for population studies. It can also facilitate treatment efficacy analyses and norm-based interpretations of treatment effects.


An Effective Way to Measure Health

Health utility surveys provide a clear picture of patient health and product performance. The data they collect and the scores they produce can support a variety of goals.

  • Prove product efficacy and economic value to payers, providers and regulators.
  • Compare the overall benefit of one drug or therapy to another (or the status quo).
  • Support evidence generation to substantiate label claims for approval.
  • Make the case for the inclusion of a drug in formulary decision-making.
  • Promote a product or therapy in marketing and awareness campaigns.
  • Engage physicians and educate them on the value of a product or treatment.

QualityMetric’s Health Utility Surveys

The latest iteration of QualityMetric’s short-form health utility surveys, the SF-6Dv2™ Health Utility Survey brings health measurement to a new level. As with the SF-6D®, the SF-6Dv2™ generates meaningful data on HRQoL and functional health and well-being to help teams demonstrate the value of their products to key stakeholders throughout the healthcare continuum.


The SF-6Dv2™ was developed using content from the most widely used measure of health for quality-adjusted life year (QALY) calculations, the SF-36v2® Health Survey. Its clear, simple and consistent wording improves the measurement and understanding of overall health, while providing keen insights into patient health and product performance by measuring six health domains.

SF-6Dv2™ Health Domains

  • Physical Functioning
  • Role Limitations
  • Social Functioning
  • Pain
  • Mental Health
  • Vitality

The enhanced SF-6Dv2™ survey and scoring can help you demonstrate the value of your products to key stakeholders throughout the healthcare continuum. Depending on your needs and goals, the SF-6Dv2™ can be derived from data from either the SF-6Dv2™ or the SF-36v2® Health Survey, including historical SF-36 data. Scores can also be based on country specific utility weights for the UK, with weights for Australia, China and the United States in development.


Whether you’ve used SF health surveys before or you’re just starting out, QualityMetric can help you make informed decisions at every stage of the product lifecycle with our health utility surveys and scoring services. Set yourself apart from the competition and prove your products’ value. Get in touch with our team today.


Case Study:

Developing a New Version of the SF-6D Health State Classification System from the SF-36v2: Medical Care (