Methods and issues associated with the use of quality-adjusted life-years
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.
Available from: Chuan Silvia Li
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To investigate the cost-effectiveness and economic impact of the KineSpring System in the treatment for knee osteoarthritis in Germany.
Functional outcome scores of the general German population and knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients under surgical treatments (HTO, UKA and TKA), conservative treatments and treatment with the KineSpring System were used to derive the utility scores for each group. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) of each group were estimated using the utility scores. Finally, cost-utility analysis was performed using cost and QALYs data. The economic impact of knee OA in Germany was assessed in terms of annual total direct cost and indirect cost, total diseased population and potential QALYs saved with the KineSpring System.
Assuming the durability of 10 years, the cost-utility ratio of the KineSpring System, surgical treatments and conservative treatments compared to no treatment in 2012 was euro>3,402/QALY, euro 4,899/QALY and euro 9,996/QALY, respectively. With even a lesser durability of 5 years, the cost-utility ratio of the KineSpring System maintained superiority over surgical treatments and conservative treatments (euro 7,327/QALY, euro 9,706/QALY and euro 10,467/QALY, respectively). The KineSpring System is a highly cost-effective alternative for knee osteoarthritis compared with the current accepted cost-effective threshold (willingness to pay) of $50,000 US/QALY gained. Our models suggest KineSpring System, if adapted widely could save up to 2.0 ± 0.07 million QALY assuming it has a 5-year durability and save up to 3.9 ± 0.1 million QALY assuming it has a 10-year durability.
An economic advantage for using the KineSpring System over other surgical and conservative treatments in knee OA patients in Germany is suggested by our model. According to currently accepted cost-effectiveness guidelines, the KineSpring Knee Implant System for knee OA is a cost-effective strategy.
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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.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to compare psychometric properties of the EQ-5D-5L (5L) and the EQ-5D-3L (3L) health outcomes assessment instruments in patients with hepatitis B in China.
Patients, including hepatitis B virus carriers and those with active or inactive chronic hepatitis B, compensated cirrhosis, decompensated cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma, answered a questionnaire composed of 5L, socio-demographic information, 3L, and the visual analog scale (VAS), respectively. After 1 week, a retest was conducted for inpatients. We compared acceptability, face validity, redistribution properties, convergent validity, known-group validity, discriminatory power, ceiling effect, test-retest reliability, and responsiveness of 5L and 3L.
A total of 369 outpatients and 276 inpatients were recruited for the first interview. Of the inpatients, 183 were used in the retest. Most patients preferred 5L-3L. The 3L-5L response pairs had an inconsistency rate of 2.4 %. Correlation with the VAS was greater with 5L than with 3L. Age, education, and comorbidity were associated with health-related quality of life (HRQoL). 5L discriminated more infectious conditions than 3L. In all dimensions, the Shannon's index from 5L was larger while in three dimensions the Shannon's evenness index from 5L was slightly larger. The ceiling effect was reduced in 5L. In patients with stable health states, no significant difference was detected in the weighted kappa between 5L and 3L, but intraclass correlation coefficient of 5L was higher than that of 3L. In patients with improved health states, HRQoL was seen as increased in both 5L and 3L, without significant difference.
The EQ-5D-5L was more suitable than the EQ-5D-3L in the patients with hepatitis B in China.
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