Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Objectives: Assessments of health-related quality of life outcomes associated with preterm birth provide valuable complementary data to the objective biomedical assessments that have traditionally been reported. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of health utility values associated with preterm birth generated using preference-based approaches to health-related quality of life measurement. Methods: Systematic searches of MEDLINE, Web of Science, EconLit, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, the Cochrane Library and SCOPUS were performed, covering the literature from inception of the search engines to 26 June 2018. Studies reporting health utility values estimated using either direct or indirect utility elicitation methods and published in the English language were included. Central descriptive statistics and measures of variability surrounding health utility values for each study and control group, and differences between comparator groups, are reported for each included article. The effect of preterm birth on health utility values was estimated using a hierarchical linear model in a linear mixed-effects meta-regression. Results: Of 2139 unique articles retrieved, 20 articles met the inclusion criteria. All but one study used the Health Utilities Index (HUI) Mark 2 (HUI2) or Mark 3 (HUI3) measures as their primary health utility assessment method. All studies reporting health utility values for individuals born preterm or at low birthweight and a control group of individuals born at full term or normal birthweight reported lower utility values in the study groups, regardless of age at assessment, respondent type or valuation method. The meta-regression revealed that preterm birth was associated with a mean utility decrement of 0.066 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.035–0.098; p < 0.001) after controlling for valuation method, respondent type, administration mode, year of publication, geographical region of study, study setting and age at assessment. Conclusion: Evidence identified by this review can act as data inputs into future economic evaluations of preventive or treatment interventions for preterm birth. Future research should focus particularly on estimating health utility values during the various stages of adulthood, and incorporating the effects of preterm birth on the preference-based health-related quality of life outcomes of parents and other family members.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





357 - 373