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The University of Sheffield

Measuring and Valuing Health

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn


Explore how and why we decide what drugs and treatments should be funded

Healthcare systems around the world are increasingly under pressure to fund new drugs, treatments and other healthcare interventions.

On this course, you’ll learn how health outcome measuring can help us to make more informed decisions about where to spend our limited healthcare budgets.

You’ll find out how patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) are developed and calculated, and learn how they can be used to compare treatment benefits in practice.

This course is designed for anyone interested in how and why choices about drugs and treatments have been made.

It is ideal learning for anyone considering a career in healthcare, local decision-making or academia.

If you wish to take your learning further, the University of Sheffield’s other Masters degrees and short courses address areas such as health economics, public health and international healthcare technology assessment.

You can find out more about this subject in Dr Katherine Stevens’ post for the FutureLearn blog: “How do we make decisions in healthcare about which drugs and treatments to fund?.


  • Measuring Health: Why and How?
    • Welcome to the course
    • The challenge of measuring health
    • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
    • Wrapping up the week
  • Valuing Health: Quality Adjusted Life Years and Decision Making
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • Decision-making in healthcare
    • Quality Adjusted Life Years
    • Putting the Q into QALY
    • QALYs and decision-making
    • Wrapping up the week
    • Further viewing (optional)
  • Utility Measures in Practice
    • Welcome to Week 3
    • The EQ-5D
    • Whose values should we use?
    • Utility measures in practice
    • Wrapping up the course

Taught by

Katherine Stevens


4.6 rating, based on 25 Class Central reviews

4.9 rating at FutureLearn based on 14 ratings

Start your review of Measuring and Valuing Health

  • Anonymous
    I did this course to get an understanding of how health is assessed in relation to drugs. I found the course interesting and clear to understand. It gave differing opinions from professionals and the discussions from the other 'students' were interesting to read and get involved in.
  • Anonymous
    The course provides a comprehensive overview of the economic evaluation of technologies. Also, encourages the discussion among the learners. Thus, in my view it is an insightful course, in particular for those who want to pursue a career in the Health technology Assessment (HTA) field.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed participating in this course; I have learnt many new things through the useful videos and also the interactive activities. I definitely recommend taking this course as you gain a lot of knowledge about how health is measured and valued, and also how this fits in to the economy and how it is decided which treatments are invested in.
  • Anonymous
    Really clear teaching and explained things well. Simple enough for an introduction and yet contained enough detail and links for those wanting to explore a bit more
  • Anonymous
    This is an excellent course on an important topic, but one few people will come across day-to-day. It covers a wide range of topics in enough depth that by the end of it you have a very good understanding of how the value of health is taken into account when making health care decisions. The course is appropriately detailed but everything is very clearly explained. Very highly recommended if you are interested how health care decisions are made.
  • Anonymous
    The course was very well introduced and I was able to follow the material easily. I really enjoyed having the mentors support in responding to comments and providing further reading links relevant to my discussion, and also the open style commenting so I could see other learner's comments and the replies. The course has sparked my interest in this subject area and I will consider further study in the future.
  • Anonymous
    This course was clearly structured and contained relevant material and supporting resources. Prior to this course I had limited knowledge of the design and use of patient reported outcome measures, and how these could be used to derive utility scores and calculate QALYs. This course was a great introduction that helped greatly in developing a foundation of knowledge for my planned research.
  • This is a short course on QALYs. Further topics on HTA would be covered by "Health Technology Assessment: Choosing Which Treatments Get Funded" by the same University on FutureLearn.
    Other course "Health Technology Assessment: Choosing Which Treatments Get Funded" on Coursera is also recommendable, especially if you wanted to learn both themes in one project.
  • Anonymous
    As a patient advocate, I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about statistical health information systems and how they are formulated and applied. I have appreciated the pedagogy and rate the MOOC as comparable to the best institutions participating in for instance. Thank you very much for the opportunity to understand, compare and participate.
  • Well paced with questions provoked in one section being answered in the next section. Good to have live participation by the educators as this keeps it fresh. Subject matter keeps the topic relevant and challenging. I am just about to start another course on the evaluation of health technology which I hope will fill in the next stage in my understanding.
  • Anonymous
    This is a great introduction to patient reported outcomes and some principles used in health economics. I work in IT for healthcare and was looking to learn more about how quality of life can be measured and how are patient reported outcomes being used to drive choices for treatment. Content is very much up to where discussions are today.
  • Gebremicheal Gebreslassie
    I found it really impressive, informative and practical which helps me to well introduced and recap about health economics at large. I would like to thank for you all (teachers and the organizing committee as a whole) and keep growing in a inclusive way.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course. It gave me a broad but also a pretty good idea of how and why to put a measure on health states. Now I feel I have enough knowledge to read and expand my learning in this area.
  • Anonymous
    I started this course because I have a degree in Managing Health and Social Care, with the open university, I feel that now is the perfect time to take my studying further. because of my enlightened experiencw
  • Anonymous
    It provides me with more knowledge of health measure. Many of the content is related to my work and many of the comment from colleague provide new perspectives on the global health issue.
  • Snivy
    It's a concise, bite-sized introduction to QALYs. Recommended if you want a quick course as it'll only take 3 to 5 hours in total. Excellent forums discussions in my session.
  • Profile image for Viv Dawson
    Viv Dawson
    A Brilliant Learning Tool, that I hope to get certification for as soon as I can afford it. This has helped me to understand better why and how projects are/are not funded.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course. An eye opener to me on the concepts I wanted to learn for a long time, since I am working in a large corporate hospital in middle management position
  • Anonymous
    I like this course because it describes thoroughly how people of all age groups and from all works of life rate their own health and the health of others.
  • Anonymous
    Extremely useful. The faculties are very competent and explained the concepts very well. I intend taking up other courses on the same subject from Future Learn

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