Health-Related Quality of Life of Colles’ Fracture Patients
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Recent guidelines published by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) make extensive use of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Crucial to these guidelines, therefore, are the assumptions that are made about the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) gained from the avoidance of osteoporotic fractures. This paper reports on a study in which 50 Colles’ fracture patients were asked to describe their health at each visit during treatment using the EuroQol descriptive system and to value their own health using the visual analogue scale (VAS). By applying a set of population-derived valuations to the states reported by the patients, the QALY loss is shown to be about 2%. This is about half of the loss, based upon clinician judgement, that is contained in the NOF guidelines. In addition, the results suggest that it may be possible to use VAS scores to predict treatment requirements, since those patients who require fewer visits have, on average, higher initial VAS scores.
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