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01-04-2010 | Uitgave 3/2010

Quality of Life Research 3/2010

Initial development of the Temporary Utilities Index: a multiattribute system for classifying the functional health impact of diagnostic testing

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2010
J. Shannon Swan, Jun Ying, James Stahl, Chung Yin Kong, Beverly Moy, Jessica Roy, Elkan Halpern



The effects of testing and screening on quality of life may influence the future behavior of society, but have not been quantified. We derived a health classification and survey items for the morbidities of testing and screening, to be the foundation of a multiattribute utility instrument, the Temporary Utilities Index.


Seventy-six women ranked the importance of attributes of the testing process after breast biopsy. Seven survey items on the testing process were subsequently developed and assessed for clarity by a second group of 19 patients. The items cover attributes of mental and physical well-being before, during, and after testing. A survey panel of 164 subjects accessed online used the items to endorse expected and experienced effects of colon screening and mammography. They also endorsed items from a colorectal benefits and barriers scale, a risk perception scale, and EQ-5D, to utilize in the analyses of validity of the TUI items.


Based on criteria from the literature and limited psychometric analysis, the items showed evidence of practicality, validity, and a strong association with barriers.


The TUI health classification and survey items show evidence of validity, and may inform economic analysis, once combined with utility weights.

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