Methods and issues associated with the use of quality-adjusted life-years.
ABSTRACT In this article, we will focus on how preferences and utilities are measured, including the strengths and limitations of various approaches, discuss their use in estimating quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and make some recommendations for further research. Preferences are either measured using direct (visual analog scale, time trade-off or standard gamble) or indirect methods. The most commonly used generic indirect measures include the Quality of Well-Being scale, EuroQol-5 Dimension, Health Utilities Index and Short Form-6 Dimension. Disease-specific preference measures are increasingly being developed and applied in studies as more sensitive measures of health status. Preference-based measures and QALY measurement need to be enhanced, and additional research is needed to improve scientific methods for estimating preferences for health assessment. Given the increased focus on comparative effectiveness research, QALYs have the potential for helping researchers, clinicians, health policy-makers and patients to understand the relative effectiveness of alternative interventions for treating medical conditions.
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ABSTRACT: Invasive fungal infections incur considerable costs to healthcare and are associated with high mortality. These infections are increasing, due in part to more intensive immunosuppressive regimens with longer periods of neutropenia for patients treated for conditions such as cancer and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Therapeutic strategies in treating invasive fungal infections include the initiation of empiric antifungal therapy. This early treatment is triggered by fever that is unresponsive to 48-72 h of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy in high-risk patients, prior to diagnosis. Several antifungal agents are available for this purpose. Informed decisions with respect to the choice of antifungal drug require clinicians to consider both efficacy data of a particular drug and the economic consequences of using the drug. This enables a treatment decision to be based not only on drug acquisition cost, but also expenses associated with hospitalization, monitoring and managing adverse effects to the treatment(s) chosen.Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research 04/2013; 13(2):227-35. · 1.67 Impact Factor