Estimation of Utilities for the Effects of Depression from the SF-12

Published in: Medical Care, v. 38, no. 7, July 2000, p. 763-770

Posted on on January 01, 2000

by Leslie A. Lenert, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Catherine Sugar, Kenneth B. Wells

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: Utilities for health conditions, including major depressive disorder, have a theoretical relationship to health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Because of the complexity of utility measurement and the existence of large numbers of completed studies with HRQOL data but not utility data, it would be desirable to be able to estimate utilities from measurements of HRQOL. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to estimate utility for remission in major depression by use of information on associated variation in Short Form 12 (SF-12) scores. DESIGN: A mapping function for SF-12 scores (based on a 6-health-state model with patient-weighted preferences) was applied to longitudinal data from a large naturalistic study to estimate changes in utilities. SUBJECTS: Preference ratings for states were performed in a convenience sample of depressed primary care patients (n = 140). Outcomes were evaluated in patients in the Course of Depression Study (n = 295) with a DSM III diagnosis of depression at the onset of the study. MEASURES: From clinical interview data, differences in utilities and global physical and mental health-related quality of life at 1- and 2-year follow-up were compared for patients who did and did not experience remission as determined by the Course of Depression Interview. RESULTS: Remission of depression resulted in health status improvement, as measured by the SF-12, equivalent to a gain of 0.11 quality-adjusted life-years over 2 years. CONCLUSIONS: Utilities for changes in health status, associated with a clinical change in depression, can be modeled from the SF-12 scales, which results in utilities within the range of estimates described in the literature.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.