The measurement of disability weights for 18 prevalent acute poisoning conditions

Asadi, R.; Afshari, R.; Dadpour, B.
October 2016
Human & Experimental Toxicology;Oct2016, Vol. 35 Issue 10, p1033
Academic Journal
Background: Disability weights (DWs) are used in disease burden studies, with the calculation of the weight of the disability as years lived with disability versus years of lost life accounting for mortalities. Currently, there is a single DW score available for poisoning, which is considered to be a single health state. This makes it difficult to evaluate the differing burdens of poisonings involving various substances/conditions in comparison with other health states in countries with different patterns of substance abuse. The aim of this study is therefore to estimate the DWs of 18 common poisonings based on the expert elicitation method. Methods: A panel of 10 medical clinicians who were familiar with the clinical aspects of different poisonings estimated the DWs of 50 health states by interpolating them on a calibrated Visual Analogue Scale. The DWs of some poisonings, such as alcohol, cannabis and heroin, had been estimated in previous studies and so were used to determine the external consistency of our panel. As a matter of routine, the DWs could vary on a scale between 0 (best health state) and 1 (worst health state). Results: Statistical analysis showed that both the internal (Cronbach’s α = 0.912) and external consistency of the panel were acceptable. The DWs for the different poisonings were estimated along a range from 0.830 for severe aluminium phosphide to 0.022 for mild benzodiazepine. Conclusions: Different poisonings should be weighted differently since they vary widely. Unfortunately, they are currently all weighted the same.


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