ICECAP Workshop

Workshop: The use of ICECAP measures in clinical trials and economic evaluation

This two-day workshop was held February 15-16, 2011 at the Centre for Professional Development in Birmingham. It was sponsored by the Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research.


The ICECAP measures are recently developed single index measures of general wellbeing. They have been developed to offer an alternative or supplement to traditional health (QALY) measures for economic evaluation. In the ICECAP measures, wellbeing is measured in terms of individuals’ capability to do what is valued in life. While the approach offers a promising normative alternative for outcome measurement and economic evaluation, many challenges exist in applying the measures in practice.

Workshop Format

  • A series of presentations of applied work using the ICECAP measure in different trial settings and populations
  • Updates on methodological developments on the ICECAP (including the development, valuation and validation of the measures)
  • ‘Break-out’ sessions on specific methodological issues related to using ICECAP measures in trials and economic evaluations.


The ICECAP users’ workshop attracted 34 participants from a wide range of institutions both in the UK and overseas (Netherlands, Australia, Canada, USA). Participants included individuals involved in developing the ICECAP tools (to measure ‘capability wellbeing’), individuals using the measures in trials and economic evaluation, trials experts from the HTMR Network and individuals with an interest in the measurement of human capabilities. Most participants presented, discussed or chaired a paper.

The presentations outlined the properties of ICECAP measures (such as feasibility and validity) across a diverse range of trials. Methodological talks identified important issues for further investigation in terms of the completion, valuation and anchoring of the ICECAP measures.

The key issues to emerge from the discussions were around the use of the measures for economic evaluation, and how to gain a better understanding of the non-health gap that the ICECAP measures can fill. Discussion groups were used to generate clear ideas about the areas where further research was needed.

A discussion paper responding to the issues raised at the workshop is being finalised for submission to a leading disciplinary journal.