Do physicians accept quality of life and utility measurement?
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This study investigates to what extent physicians accept quality of life (QoL) and economic utility measures as endpoints in clinical studies. It also explores who physicians think should value health states. As part of a European study three different physician groups were surveyed using a standardized mail questionnaire. These surveys were carried out by national random sample in Finland (rendering n=367) and by nonrandom samples in Austria (n=33), and Germany (n=41). Acceptance of utility measurement was classified by a four-level hierarchy. Knowledge of the QoL concept ranged between 30% and 54% in the three samples. QoL was accepted by 72–90% of physicians, a summary index of QoL by 62–80%, its combination with duration by 51–68%, and quality-adjusted life years by 44–61%. Most physicians felt that health care professionals should value health states, and 92–94% considered common effect measures in clinical and economic studies to be desirable or necessary. Most physicians surveyed accepted QoL as a study endpoint, a significant share accepted utility measurement. Evaluating health effects by common measures is considered an important challenge.
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