Methods: We performed a literature search to determine preference-based value algorithms in the general population of a given country. We then fitted a second-order quadratic function to assess the utility function curve that links health status with health-care utilities. We ranked the countries according to the concavity and convexity properties of their utility functions and compared this ranking with that of the Hofstede index to check if there were any similarities.
Results: We identified 10 countries with an EQ-5D-5L-based value set and 7 countries with an EQ-5D-3L-based value set. Japan's degree of concavity was highest, while Germany's was lowest, based on the EQ-5D-3L and EQ-5D-5L value sets. Japan also ranked first in the Hofstede long-term orientation index, and rankings related to the degree of concavity, indicating a low time preference rate.
Conclusions: This is the first evaluation to identify and report an association between different cultural beliefs and utility values. These findings underline the necessity to take local values into consideration when designing health technology assessment systems.