Quality of Life Research

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 209–213 | Cite as

Social relationships as a major determinant in the valuation of health states

  • Ulrich Frick
  • Hyacinth Irving
  • Jürgen Rehm
Brief Communication



To empirically determine the impact of the capacity to sustain social relationships on valuing health states.


68 clinical experts conducted a health state valuation exercise in five sites using pairwise comparison, ranking, and person trade-off as elicitation methods. 23,840 pairwise comparisons of a total of 379 health states were analyzed by conditional logistic regression.


Social relationships had a clear monotonic association with perceived disability: the more limited the capacity to sustain social relationships, the more disabling the resulting health state valuations. The highest level of limitations with respect to social relationships was associated with slightly lower impact on health state valuations compared to the highest level of limitations in physical functioning.


Social relationships showed an independent contribution to health state valuations and should be included in health state measures.


Quality of life Economic life valuation Methods Social interaction Disability evaluation 



Classification and Measurement System of Functional Health


Conditional logistic regression


United States


World Health Organization



This article was funded by National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; contract no. HHSN267200700041C.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Frick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hyacinth Irving
    • 3
  • Jürgen Rehm
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Healthcare ManagementCarinthia University of the Applied SciencesFeldkirchenAustria
  2. 2.Psychiatric University Hospital, University of RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  3. 3.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Technische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany

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