Patients’ self-reported disability weights of top-ranking diseases in Thailand: Do they differ by socio-demographic and illness characteristics? Academic Article uri icon


  • Little is known about the impact of methodological decisions on estimating disability weights among patients with mental and physical disorders, and the effects of socio-demographic status on the estimation of these weights. A cross-sectional study was conducted in three hospitals in southern Thailand to describe the disability weights based on different valuation methods. Altogether, 150 patients with major depressive disorder, 150 with alcohol use disorder, and 150 with osteoarthritis with varying levels of severity were recruited. Using a face-to-face interview, all patients completed a visual analogue scale (VAS) and were randomly assigned to complete either the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) or Time-trade-off (TTO) instrument to estimate their current utility score, which was consequently transformed to a disability weight. Significant differences were found between disability weights derived from the three instruments for the same disease, with the VAS providing the highest and EQ-5D the lowest weights. Patients with major depressive disorder had the highest disability weight while those with osteoarthritis had lowest by most methods. Patients’ socio-demographics do not affect how they perceive their disability or health condition. Our findings highlight the importance of carefully selecting methods of valuing disability weights, which can rely on disease specific conditions.

publication date

  • 2020