Using the SF-6D to measure the impact of alcohol dependence on health-related quality of life
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Alcohol dependence not only reduces life expectancy, but also causes considerable loss of quality of life of the dependents of and persons around those with alcohol dependence. This article presents new evidence on the impact of alcohol dependence on health-related quality of life in Spain. Three samples were recruited: 150 alcoholics and 64 family members of alcoholics, with both samples taken from an alcoholism treatment unit, and 600 persons from the general population. We used the short form 6D, a preference-based generic instrument, applying the utility scores estimated for Spain. It was found that the annual mean loss of quality-adjusted life years associated with alcohol dependence was 0.144 and 0.083 for the alcoholics and their close family members, respectively. This impact becomes more notable after controlling for socio economic variables and was higher than that estimated in similar studies. Possible explanations for these differences are discussed. The results from this work can be applied to economic evaluation studies measuring benefits from policies targeted at reducing the prevalence of alcohol dependence.
KeywordsAlcohol dependence SF-6D Quality-adjusted life year Spain
Financial support from the Consellería de Economía e Industria (Xunta de Galicia) grant no. 10SEC300038PR and from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation grant no. ECO2011-25661 is gratefully acknowledged. We are also very grateful to professionals and patients from Alcoholism Care Unit of Vigo for their collaboration in this study.
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