, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 801-814
Date: 20 May 2008

Quality of life valuations of mammography screening

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Objective To obtain quality-of-life (QOL) valuations associated with mammography screening and breast cancer treatment that are suitable for use in cost-effectiveness analyses.

Methods Subjects comprised 131 women (age range 50–79 years) randomly sampled from a breast cancer screening program. In an in-person or telephone interview, women rated the QOL impact of 14 clinical scenarios (ranging from mammography to end-of-life care for breast cancer) using a visual analogue scale anchored by death (0) and perfect health/quality of life (100).

Results Women rated the scenarios describing true negative results, false positive results, and routine screening mammography at 80 or above on a scale of 0–100, suggesting that they perceive these states as being close to perfect health. They rated adjuvant chemotherapy (39.7; range 10–90), palliation/end-of-life care (35.8; range 0–100), and recurrence at 1 year (33.0; range 0–95) the lowest, suggesting that these health states are perceived as compromised. Women rated receiving news of a breast cancer diagnosis (true positive) (45.7; range 5–100) and receiving delayed news of a breast cancer diagnosis (false negative) (48.5; range 5–100) as being comparable to undergoing mastectomy (48.3; range 10–100) and radiation therapy (46.2; range 5–100) for breast cancer.

Conclusions These data can be used to update cost analyses of mammography screening that wish to take into account the QOL impact of screening.