Health Policy Manag.  2016 Dec;26(4):352-358. 10.4332/KJHPA.2016.26.4.352.

Review of Issues for Disability Weight Studies

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Summary measures of population health (SMPHs) have been used to estimate the burden of diseases. Among various type of SMPHs, disability adjusted life year (DALY) and healthy life expectancy (HALE) have been calculated in the global and national burden of disease studies. In order to calculate DALY and HALE, disability weight is an essential element. Disability weights quantify the level of disability for health states or diseases and have values between 0 (full health) to 1 (being dead). In this study, we reviewed the main disability weights studies and determined their meaning and limitations. Furthermore, we provided the whole process of typical disability weight study and reviewed key issues as follows: health state or disease description development, panel composition, valuation method, validation of disability weight, cross-cultural variability in health state or disease, and so on. The results from this study will be helpful to conduct future disability weight studies for adapting disability weights and developing new methodologies.


Disability weight; Burden of disease; Valuation method; Utility weight
Full Text Links
  • HPM
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Copyright © 2020 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: