Quality of Life Research

, Volume 10, Issue 7, pp 587-593

First online:

A longitudinal study of health related quality of life and utility measures in patients with advanced breast cancer

  • David J. PerezAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine
  • , Sheila M. WilliamsAffiliated withDepartment of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine
  • , Elizabeth A. ChristensenAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine
  • , Rob O. McGeeAffiliated withDepartment of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine
  • , Alastair V. CampbellAffiliated withBioethics Research Centre, Dunedin School of Medicine

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Health related quality of life (HRQOL) measures are now accepted as indicators of efficacy in the palliative treatment of cancer. Utility measures may also provide valuable information yet they have been applied less frequently. To assess the application of a time trade-off (TTO) utility measure and its concordance with the Spitzer uniscale and quality of life index (QLI) 38 women with advanced, symptomatic breast cancer were studied over a 12 month period. The correlation coefficient for QLI and TTO values was 0.54 and for uniscale and TTO 0.62. Using generalized estimating equations the regression of TTO scores on QLI and uniscale scores was significant at baseline. In longitudinal analyses results were significant only for QLI. Although all participants completed the HRQOL measures only 24 (63%) were prepared to trade time. The remaining 14 (32%) stated they felt too well to trade. Those prepared to trade time recorded significantly worse mean HRQOL scores throughout the study compared to those who felt too well to trade and had tumors which showed a poorer response to therapy. In this preliminary study utility and HRQOL scores were generally favorable throughout the 12 month study period and showed fair to moderate concordance. Further research in larger patient groups is required to better define the relationships between utility and HRQOL measures.

Cancer Measurement Quality of life Trade off Utility