JOURNAL ARTICLE

A Simple and Practical Index to Measure Dementia-Related Quality of Life

Alexander M M Arons, Carla J M Schölzel-Dorenbos, Marcel G M Olde Rikkert, Paul F M Krabbe
Value in Health: the Journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 2016, 19 (1): 60-5
26797237

BACKGROUND: Research on new treatments for dementia is gaining pace worldwide in an effort to alleviate this growing health care problem. The optimal evaluation of such interventions, however, calls for a practical and credible patient-reported outcome measure.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the refinement of the Dementia Quality-of-life Instrument (DQI) and present its revised version.

METHODS: A prototype of the DQI was adapted to cover a broader range of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and to improve consistency in the descriptions of its domains. A valuation study was then conducted to assign meaningful numbers to all DQI health states. Pairs of DQI states were presented to a sample of professionals working with people with dementia and a representative sample of the Dutch population. They had to repeatedly select the best DQI state, and their responses were statistically modeled to obtain values for each health state.

RESULTS: In total, 207 professionals working with people with dementia and 631 members of the general population completed the paired comparison tasks. Statistically significant differences between the two samples were found for the domains of social functioning, mood, and memory. Severe problems with physical health and severe memory problems were deemed most important by the general population. In contrast, severe mood problems were considered most important by professionals working with people with dementia.

DISCUSSION: The DQI is a simple and feasible measurement instrument that expresses the overall HRQOL of people suffering from dementia in a single meaningful number. Current results suggest that revisiting the discussion of using values from the general population might be warranted in the dementia context.

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