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Preference-weighted health-related quality of life measures and substance use disorder severity

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Examine the validity of preference-weighted health-related quality of life measures in a sample of substance use disorder (SUD) patients. The implications of cost–utility analyses (CUAs) of SUD interventions are discussed. Design 

Cross-sectional analysis of subjects seeking SUD treatment. Setting 

Seven SUD treatment centers in a medium-sized Midwestern metropolitan area in the United States. Participants 

Data from 574 SUD subjects were analyzed from a study to test interventions to improve linkage and engagement with substance abuse treatment. Measurements 

Subjects completed the following preference-weighted measures: self-administered Quality of Well-Being scale (QWB-SA) and Medical Outcomes Study SF-12 (standard gamble weighted or SF-12 SG); and clinical measures: Addiction Severity Index (ASI) and a symptom checklist based on the DSM-IV. Findings 

In unadjusted analyses, the QWB-SA was correlated significantly with six of seven ASI subscales and the SF-12 SG was correlated with four of seven. In adjusted analyses, both preference-weighted measures were significantly correlated with diagnostic, physical health, mental health and drug use measures, but not with legal or alcohol use measures. The QWB-SA was also correlated with employment problems and the SF-12 SG was correlated with family/social problems. Conclusions 

This study generally supports the construct validity of preference-weighted health-related quality of life measures in SUD patients. However, the QWB-SA and SF-12 SG did not correlate with all ASI scales. Cost–benefit analysis may be preferable when policy-makers are interested in evaluating the full range of SUD intervention outcomes.

Keywords: Cost-effectiveness analysis; SF-12 scale; cost–utility analysis; health-related quality of life; quality of wellbeing scale; substance use disorder

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Departments of Sociology, Economics and Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA and 2: Department of Psychiatry, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA, 3: Department of Community Health, Wright State University, Dayton, OH, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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