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Mapping onto Eq-5 D for patients in poor health

By M.M. (Matthijs) Versteegh, D. (Donna) Rowen, J. (John) Brazier and E.A. (Elly) Stolk

Abstract

Background: An increasing amount of studies report mapping algorithms which predict EQ-5 D utility values using disease specific non-preference-based measures. Yet many mapping algorithms have been found to systematically overpredict EQ-5 D utility values for patients in poor health. Currently there are no guidelines on how to deal with this problem. This paper is concerned with the question of why overestimation of EQ-5 D utility values occurs for patients in poor health, and explores possible solutions.Method: Three existing datasets are used to estimate mapping algorithms and assess existing mapping algorithms from the literature mapping the cancer-specific EORTC-QLQ C-30 and the arthritis-specific Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) onto the EQ-5 D. Separate mapping algorithms are estimated for poor health states. Poor health states are defined using a cut-off point for QLQ-C30 and HAQ, which is determined using association with EQ-5 D values.Results: All mapping algorithms suffer from overprediction of utility values for patients in poor health. The large decrement of reporting 'extreme problems' in the EQ-5 D tariff, few observations with the most severe level in any EQ-5 D dimension and many observations at the least severe level in any EQ-5 D dimension led to a bimodal distribution of EQ-5 D index values, which is related to the overprediction of utility values for patients in poor health. Separate algorithms are here proposed to predict utility values for patients in poor health, where these are selected using cut-off points for HAQ-DI (> 2.0) and QLQ C-30 (< 45 average of QLQ C-30 functioning scales). The QLQ-C30 separate algorithm performed better than existing mapping algorithms for predicting utility values for patients in poor health, but still did not accurately predict mean utility values. A HAQ separate algorithm could not be estimated due to data restrictions.Conclusion: Mapping algorithms overpredict utility values for patients in poor health but are used in cost-effectiveness analyses nonetheless. Guidelines can be developed on when the use of a mapping algorithms is inappropriate, for instance through the identification of cut-off points. Cut-off points on a disease specific questionnaire can be identified through association with the causes of overprediction. The cut-off points found in this study represent severely impaired health. Specifying a separate mapping algorithm to predict utility values for individuals in poor health greatly reduces overprediction, but does not fully solve the problem

Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1186/1477-7525-8-141
OAI identifier: oai:repub.eur.nl:71304
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