, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 333-345
Date: 26 Jan 2008

The feasibility and responsiveness of the health utilities index in patients with early-stage breast cancer: A prospective longitudinal study

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The health utilities index (HUI3) is a health measurement instrument based on individuals’ preferences for different health states. Breast cancer (BC) is common, with a high proportion of long-term survivors, making evaluation of treatment effects important. Feasibility and responsiveness of HUI3 was compared to the short-form 36 (SF-36) in patients with BC.


HUI3 and SF-36 were administered eight times: at initial surgical consultation, 1 week before surgery; 1 week, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after surgery. Effect size, analysis of variance, and Pearson product moment correlations were calculated. BC data were compared to normative values.


Eighty-five patients were enrolled. Ninety-one percent of planned assessments were completed. HUI3 showed significant responsiveness (P < 0.01) after surgery and during recovery. HUI3 scores correlated with SF-36 scores. Comparison to normative data demonstrated the significant detrimental effect of BC diagnosis. Results showed long-term effects of treatment on physical health and positive effects on mental/emotional health in BC survivors.


HUI3 was found to be feasible and responsive in our cohort of BC patients. Changes in HUI3 values over time, and compared to normative data, paralleled SF-36 scores. HUI3 is a valuable tool in health-related quality of life and cost-utility studies in patients with BC.