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The FACT-8D, a New Cancer-Specific Utility Algorithm Based on the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapies-General (FACT-G): A Canadian Valuation Study

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Introduction Utility instruments are used to assess patients' health-related quality of life for cost-utility analysis (CUA). However, for cancer patients, the dimensions of generic utility instruments may not capture all the information relevant to the impact of cancer. Cancer-specific utilities provide a useful alternative. Under the auspices of the Multi-Attribute Utility in Cancer Consortium, a cancer-specific utility algorithm was derived from the FACT-G. The new FACT-8D contains eight dimensions: pain, fatigue, nausea, sleep, work, support from family/friends, sadness, and worry health will get worse. The aim of the study was to obtain a Canadian value set for the FACT-8D.Methods A discrete choice experiment was administered to a Canadian general population online panel, quota sampled by age, sex, and province/territory of residence. Respondents provided responses to 16 choice sets. Each choice set consisted of two health states described by the FACT-8D dimensions plus an attribute representing survival duration. Sample weights were applied and the responses were analyzed using conditional logistic regression, parameterized to fit the quality-adjusted life year framework. The results were converted into utility weights by evaluating the marginal rate of substitution between each level of each FACT-8D dimension with respect to duration.Results 2228 individuals were recruited. The analysis dataset included n = 1582 individuals, who completed at least one choice set; of which, n = 1501 completed all choice sets. After constraining to ensure monotonicity in the utility function, the largest decrements were for the highest levels of pain (− 0.38), nausea (− 0.30), and problems doing work (− 0.23). The decrements of the remaining dimensions ranged from − 0.08 to − 0.18 for their highest levels. The utility of the worst possible health state was defined as − 0.65, considerably worse than dead.Conclusions The largest impacts on utility included three generic dimensions (i.e., pain, support, and work) and nausea, a symptom caused by cancer (e.g., brain tumours, gastrointestinal tumours, malignant bowel obstruction) and by common treatments (e.g., chemotherapy, radiotherapy, opioid analgesics). This may make the FACT-8D more informative for CUA evaluating in many cancer contexts, an assertion that must now be tested empirically in head-to-head comparisons with generic utility measures.
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