DOES THE QUALITY OF LIFE MEASURE MATTER IN CANCER?
Chicago, Illinois, USA - As new treatments for cancer become available, it is important to measure preferences for health states in order to compare the benefits of different treatments. Recently, more ways to obtain utilities from measures used in cancer studies have become available, but they vary in the way they value different aspects of health and the perspective used.
The objective of this study was to examine scores obtained using various utility scoring functions available for two main measures of quality of life in cancer, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT) and EQ-5D.
Important differences in utilities scores were obtained when applying each approach to the same respondents with cancer, with the FACT-based algorithms tending to underestimate the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) benefit compared to the EQ-5D. These differences were expected, as some of the measures differed in the goal (i.e. the patient or general population’s preference for a health states) and/or methodology used to estimate utilities for health states.
The study was co-authored by Simon Pickard of Second City Outcomes Research, Saurabh Ray and Arijit Ganguli of Abbott Laboratories, and David Cella of Northwestern University.
The advantages and limitations of each preference-based approach to health measurement in cancer are further discussed in the paper, “Comparison of FACT- and EQ-5D–Based Utility Scores in Cancer” which appears in Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and outcomes Research.
Says Dr. Pickard, "This research clearly shows that the choice of utility measure will affect the health utility score estimates, therefore the validity of the scoring approach, the basis for its development, and the perspective should be carefully considered when selecting between utility measures of health in cancer."
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers worldwide).
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.
For more information: www.ispor.org
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