The Australian Multi-attribute Utility (AMAU) construction and Initial Evaluation

This paper presents further work on the development of the Australian Multi-attribute Utility (AMAU) instrument, the first steps of which were described in Hawthorne and Richardson (1996). The purpose of the instrument is to assist with the measurement of health-related quality of life (HRQoL); that is, it is designed for use in cost-utility analysis. The present paper reports the survey and statistical methods adopted for the construction of the descriptive system. It presents a descriptive system which consists of five dimensions and 15 items. This structure is consistent with the hypothesised structure and dimensions of HRQoL. The psychometric properties of the instrument are reported, including preliminary indicators of its capabilities. The results suggest the AMAU has the ability to distinguish levels of health evident in hospital and community cases, between age groups and educational achievement. In addition, interviews with subjects show it is very easy to understand and complete with minimal difficulty. The AMAU is thus a short and convenient measure of HRQoL. In summary, the descriptive system outlined in this paper appears suitable for assessing HRQoL in Australian populations; and as a MAU instrument for calculating QALYs for economic and health program evaluation.

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