Health state utilities for patients with brain metastases.

Cureus 2016;8(7):e667.
Lester-Coll NH, Dosoretz AP, Hayman JA, Yu JB.

Estimating the cost-effectiveness of whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), including Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS), requires the quantitative measurement of patients’ health states after treatment. We sought to quantify individuals’ preferences for the relevant health states after WBRT or GKRS for brain metastases on a 0 to 1 scale, where 1 is perfect health and 0 is death.
Method We prospectively measured utilities in patients with brain metastases evaluated at Yale for consideration of WBRT and/or GKRS, as well as oncology nurses who had cared for patients with brain metastases before and after WBRT or GKRS, using the Standard Gamble (SG) technique. Demographic information was also collected. Nonparametric tests were used to compare potential differences in utility values and for subgroups based on demographic characteristics.

There were 24 patients and 31 nurses who completed the study between December 2013 and May 2015. Median utilities ranged from 0.85 for the status-post (S/P) GKRS state to 0.25 (for neurologic dying). The median utility of being S/P WBRT was 0.70 compared to 0.85 S/P GKRS (p < 0.001). The cognitive decline from WBRT was associated with a notably low utility score of 0.30. There were no statistically significant differences between patients’ and nurses’ median utility scores.

These SG utilities provide unique insights into brain metastases-related health states from the patient and provider perspective. As perceived by individuals with direct knowledge of the health states in question, WBRT has a significantly lower utility compared to GKRS. Cognitive decline following WBRT is associated with significant perceived reduction in quality of life. Differences in the relative importance of overall survival and quality of life with treatment existed between patients with different stages of disease. These utilities can be used to calculate quality-adjusted life expectancy in cost-effectiveness evaluations of SRS and WBRT.