Examining the relationship between health-related quality of life and increasing numbers of diagnoses

Barra, Mathias; Augestad, Liv; Whitehurst, David; Rand-Hendriksen, Kim; Augestad, Liv Ariane; Whitehurst, David G T
December 2015
Quality of Life Research;Dec2015, Vol. 24 Issue 12, p2823
Academic Journal
journal article
Purpose: Little is known about estimating utilities for comorbid (or 'joint') health states. Several joint health state prediction models have been suggested (for example, additive, multiplicative, best-of-pair, worst-of-pair, etc.), but no general consensus has been reached. The purpose of the study is to explore the relationship between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and increasing numbers of diagnoses.Methods: We analyzed a large dataset containing respondents' ICD-9 diagnoses and preference-based HRQoL (EQ-5D and SF-6D). Data were stratified by the number of diagnoses, and mean HRQoL values were estimated. Several adjustments, accounting for the respondents' age, sex, and the severity of the diagnoses, were carried out. Our analysis fitted additive and multiplicative models to the data and assessed model fit using multiple standard model selection methods.Results: A total of 39,817 respondents were included in the analyses. Average HRQoL values were represented well by both linear and multiplicative models. Although results across all analyses were similar, adjusting for severity of diagnoses, age, and sex strengthened the linear model's performance measures relative to the multiplicative model. Adjusted R (2) values were above 0.99 for all analyses (i.e., all adjusted analyses, for both HRQoL instruments), indicating a robust result.Conclusions: Additive and multiplicative models perform equally well within our analyses. A practical implication of our findings, based on the presumption that a linear model is simpler than an additive model, is that an additive model should be preferred unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary.


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