New measures to capture end of life concerns in Huntington disease: Meaning and Purpose and Concern with Death and Dying from HDQLIFE (a patient-reported outcomes measurement system)
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Huntington disease (HD) is an incurable terminal disease. Thus, end of life (EOL) concerns are common in these individuals. A quantitative measure of EOL concerns in HD would enable a better understanding of how these concerns impact health-related quality of life. Therefore, we developed new measures of EOL for use in HD.
An EOL item pool of 45 items was field tested in 507 individuals with prodromal or manifest HD. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses (EFA and CFA, respectively) were conducted to establish unidimensional item pools. Item response theory (IRT) and differential item functioning analyses were applied to the identified unidimensional item pools to select the final items.
EFA and CFA supported two separate unidimensional sets of items: Concern with Death and Dying (16 items), and Meaning and Purpose (14 items). IRT and DIF supported the retention of 12 Concern with Death and Dying items and 4 Meaning and Purpose items. IRT data supported the development of both a computer adaptive test (CAT) and a 6-item, static short form for Concern with Death and Dying.
The HDQLIFE Concern with Death and Dying CAT and corresponding 6-item short form, and the 4-item calibrated HDQLIFE Meaning and Purpose scale demonstrate excellent psychometric properties. These new measures have the potential to provide clinically meaningful information about end-of-life preferences and concerns to clinicians and researchers working with individuals with HD. In addition, these measures may also be relevant and useful for other terminal conditions.
KeywordsHealth-related quality of life Neuro-QoL PROMIS HDQLIFE Huntington disease End of life Patient-reported outcome (PRO)
Work on this manuscript was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01NS077946), and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR000433). In addition, a portion of this study sample was collected in conjunction with the Predict-HD study. The Predict-HD was supported by the NIH, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01NS040068), the NIH, Center for Inherited Disease Research (provided supported for sample phenotyping), and the CHDI Foundation (award to the University of Iowa). We thank the University of Iowa, the Investigators and Coordinators of this study, the study participants, the National Research Roster for Huntington Disease Patients and Families, the Huntington Study Group, and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. We acknowledge the assistance of Jeffrey D. Long, Hans J. Johnson, Jeremy H. Bockholt, Roland Zschiegner, and Jane S. Paulsen. We also acknowledge Roger Albin, Kelvin Chou, and Henry Paulsen for the assistance with participant recruitment. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. HDQLIFE Site Investigators and Coordinators are Noelle Carlozzi, Praveen Dayalu, Stephen Schilling, Amy Austin, Matthew Canter, Siera Goodnight, Jennifer Miner, Nicholas Migliore (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI); Jane Paulsen, Nancy Downing, Isabella DeSoriano, Courtney Shadrick, Amanda Miller (University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA); Kimberly Quaid, Melissa Wesson (Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN); Christopher Ross, Gregory Churchill, Mary Jane Ong (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD); Susan Perlman, Brian Clemente, Aaron Fisher, Gloria, Obialisi, Michael Rosco (University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA); Michael McCormack, Humberto Marin, Allison Dicke (Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ); Joel Perlmutter, Stacey Barton, Shineeka Smith (Washington University, St. Louis, MO); Martha Nance, Pat Ede (Struthers Parkinson’s Center); Stephen Rao, Anwar Ahmed, Michael Lengen, Lyla Mourany, Christine Reece, (Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH); Michael Geschwind, Joseph Winer (University of California—San Francisco, San Francisco, CA), David Cella, Richard Gershon, Elizabeth Hahn, Jin-Shei Lai (Northwestern University, Chicago, IL).
Work on this manuscript was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01NS077946), and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UL1TR000433). In addition, a portion of this study sample was collected in conjunction with the Predict-HD study. The Predict-HD was supported by the NIH, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01NS040068), the NIH Center for Inherited Disease Research (provided supported for sample phenotyping), and the CHDI Foundation (award to the University of Iowa).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Carlozzi, N.E. currently has research grants from the NIH; she is also supported by grant funding from the NIH, NIDILRR, and CHDI; she declares no conflicts of interest. Downing, N.R. declares no conflicts of interest. McCormack, M.K. currently has grants from the NJ Department of Health; he declare no conflicts of interest. Schilling, S.G. has a research grant from NSF. He also is supported by grant funding from NIH. He declares no conflicts of interest. Perlmutter, J.S. currently has funding from the NIH, HDSA, CHDI, and APDA. He has received honoraria from the University of Rochester, American Academy of Neurology, Movement Disorders Society, Toronto Western Hospital, St Lukes Hospital in St Louis, Emory U, Penn State, Alberta innovates, Indiana Neurological Society, Parkinson Disease Foundation, Columbia University, St. Louis University, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. Hahn, E.A. currently has research grants from the NIH; she is also supported by grant funding from the NIH and PCORI, and by research contracts from Merck and EMMES; she declares no conflicts of interest. Lai J.-S. currently has research grants from the NIH; she declares no conflicts of interest. Frank, S. receives salary support from the Huntington Study Group for a study sponsored by Auspex Pharmaceuticals. There is no conflict of interest. Quaid, K.A. has research funding from NIH, NIA, NCRR, NINDS and CHDI. She also has funding from HDSA. She has no conflicts of interest to declare. Paulsen, J.S. currently has research grants from the NIH; she is also supported by grant funding from NIH, NINDS, and CHDI; she declares no conflicts of interest. Cella, D. receives grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and reports that he has no conflicts of interest. Goodnight, S.M. is supported by grant funding from the NIH and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation; she declares no conflicts of interest. Miner, J.A. is supported by research grants from the NIH; she declares no conflict of interest. Nance, M.A. declares no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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