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Book and Media Reviews
September 27, 2006

Health and Productivity

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(12):1528-1533. doi:10.1001/jama.296.12.1528

A question most physicians have asked themselves at some time during their careers is, “What is the real value of all my hard work?” If they were to ask this question to a patient who was recovering from a debilitating injury or even an annoying cough, the answer would be “priceless.” However, if the question were posed to a health economist, the answer might focus on the cost of illness, as measured, say, in reductions in HALYs made up of both QALYs and DALYs (health-adjusted life years, quality-adjusted life years, and disability-adjusted life years). The real answer, as is often the case, lies somewhere in between.

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