Routine collection of health state utilities in the clinical setting may produce data more representative of the real-world population for use in cost-utility models and guide decision making. We are currently carrying out a cross-sectional study to assess the feasibility of routine administration of EQ-5D to breast cancer patients in a multidisciplinary oncology clinic, in an academic cancer centre in Ontario, Canada.
English literate women undergoing treatment or on follow-up for their breast cancer (stage I to IV), are being recruited during their scheduled visit to the cancer centre, preferably after completing the implemented routine symptom screening using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS). Consenting patients complete EQ-5D-5L in tablets, followed by a socio-demographic questionnaire and feedback questions pertaining to study conduct. Answers are stored in a research database and linked to diagnostic and treatment data. Feasibility will be assessed primarily by the proportion of patients who fully complete EQ-5D and by their willingness to complete the instrument at each clinic visit.
To date, 474 women were approached; 262 (55%) were eligible and consented to participate (target enrolment: 341). Median age of participants was 56 years (range:28-90); 24% had metastatic disease. All participants were English literate, but 59% were born outside Canada and speak primarily other languages at home. Ninety-eight percent of recruited patients completed EQ-5D, compared with 84% who completed ESAS on the same day (63% completed ESAS voluntarily prior to enrolment; 21% agreed on completing ESAS for study purposes only). Median time for EQ-5D completion was 84 seconds. Most patients (82%) had no problems using the tablet. Willingness to continue to complete EQ-5D at each clinic visit was not affected by disease status (stage I to III versus stage IV) and 74% would “definitely”/”very likely” continue to answer EQ-5D regularly at each clinic visit.
These preliminary results indicate that routine collection of EQ-5D in clinical practice might be feasible, although the completion rate might be overestimated by the cross-sectional design of the study.
Clinical trial identification
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.