Background: Diabetes has a high burden of illness both in life years lost and in disability through related co-morbidities. Accurate assessment of the non-mortality burden requires appropriate health-related quality of life and summary utility measures of which there are several contenders. The study aimed to measure the impact of diabetes on various health-related quality of life domains, and compare several summary utility measures.
Methods: In the ADVANCE (Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease: Preterax and Diamicron MR Controlled Evaluation) study, 978 Australian patients with Type 2 diabetes completed two health-related quality of life questionnaires at baseline: the EQ-5D and the SF-36v2, from which nine summary utility measures were calculated, and compared. The algorithms were grouped into four classes: (i) based on the EQ-5D; (ii) using fewer items than those in the SF-12 (iii) using the items in the SF-12; and (iv) using all items of the SF-36.
Results: Overall health-related quality of life of the subjects was good (mean utility ranged from 0.68 (+/- 0.08) to 0.85(+/- 0.14) over the nine utility measures) and comparable to patients without diabetes. Summary indices were well correlated with each other (r = 0.76 to 0.99), and showed lower health-related quality of life in patients with major diabetes-related events such as stroke or myocardial infarction. Despite the smaller number of items used in the scoring of the EQ-5D, it generally performed at least as well as SF-36 based methods. However, all utility measures had some limitation such as limited range or ceiling effects.
Conclusion: The summary utility measures showed good agreement, and showed good discrimination between major and minor health state changes. However, EQ-5D based measures performed as well and are generally simpler to use.