What is it going to be, TTO or SG?
A direct test of the validity of health state valuation
Standard gamble (SG) typically yields higher health state valuations than time trade-off (TTO), which may be caused by biases affecting both methods. It has been suggested that TTO yields more accurate health state valuations, because TTO is subject to both upward and downward biases that may cancel out. Verifying this claim, however, would require a golden standard to test validity against. In this study, we attempted to provide a first direct test of the validity of health state valuation. A total of 119 students completed five TTO and SG tasks. Afterwards, their health state valuations elicited with TTO and SG were shown to them in an interactive graph. Respondents were asked to indicate which of the methods represented their valuation of a health state best. They could also adjust their valuation. Overall, we found that respondents indicated that TTO valuations better reflected health state valuations, a result that was more pronounced for more severe health states. When offered the opportunity, on average, respondents adjusted health state valuations downwards. These findings may have implications for future work on (bias correction in) health state valuations.