The development of a preference-based measure of health in children with atopic dermatitis
Whilst existing generic preference based measures such as the EQ-5D or SF-6D can be used to obtain QALYs, these measures can often be inappropriate for some conditions, such as atopic dermatitis. These measures are also usually developed for adults and may not capture domains pertinent to children.
An alternative method of obtaining health state values to calculate QALYs is to use a non-preference based instrument and elicit preference weights for the health states it generates. This can be a particularly useful approach when a more specific measure is required and a generic instrument is not suitable.
We used this latter approach to develop a preference based measure for use in children with atopic dermatitis.
Items generated from interviews with parents of children with atopic dermatitis were used to form a health state classification system that gives 16 unique health states. 150 members of the general population were interviewed to derive preference weights for these states.
Mean values across the 16 health states range from 0.36 (SD=0.36) for the worst state to 0.84 (SD=0.19) for the best state on a scale from zero to one, where zero is for health states thought to be as bad as being dead and one is for perfect health.
The classification system and the corresponding values can be used to calculate QALYs for use in assessing the cost effectiveness of interventions for children with atopic dermatitis.
Full details of the work can be obtained from the paper published in The British Journal of Dermatology, detailed below.
Stevens K, Brazier J, McKenna S, Doward L, Cork M. The development of a preference based measure of health in children with atopic dermatitis. British Journal of Dermatology 2005, 153:372-377 [link].