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Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures are of interest because they can be used to describe health of populations and represent a broader health outcome for population health analyses than mortality rates or life expectancy. The most widely used measure of HRQoL for deriving estimates of health-adjusted life expectancy is the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3). The HUI3 is available in most national surveys administered by Statistics Canada, and has been used as part of a microsimulation model to examine the impact of neurological conditions over the life course. Persons receiving home care and nursing home services are often not well-represented in these surveys; however, interRAI assessment instruments are now used as part of normal clinical practice in these settings for nine Canadian provinces/territories. Building on previous research that developed a HUI2 crosswalk for the interRAI assessments, the present study examined a new interRAI HRQoL index crosswalked to the HUI3.
interRAI and survey data were used to examine the distributional properties of global and domain-specific interRAI HRQoL and HUI3 index scores, respectively. Three populations were considered: well-elderly persons not receiving home care, home care clients and nursing home residents.
The mean HUI3 and interRAI HRQoL index global scores declined from independent healthy older persons to home care clients, followed by nursing home residents. For the home care and nursing home populations, the interRAI HRQoL global estimates tended to be lower than HUI3 global scores obtained from survey respondents. While there were some statistically significant age, sex and diagnostic group differences in global scores and within attributes, the most notable differences were between populations from different care settings.
The present study provides strong evidence for the validity of the interRAI HRQoL based on comparisons of distributional properties with those obtained with survey data based on the HUI3. The results demonstrate the importance of admission criteria for home care and nursing home settings, where function plays a more important role than demographic or diagnostic criteria. The interRAI HRQoL has a distinct advantage because it is gathered as part of normal clinical practice in care settings where interRAI instruments are mandatory and are used to assess all eligible persons in those sectors. In particular, those with severe cognitive and functional impairments (who tend to be under-represented in survey data) will be evaluated using the interRAI tools. Future research should build on this work by providing direct, person-level comparisons of interRAI HRQoL index and HUI3 scores, as well as longitudinal analyses to examine responsiveness to change.
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- Measuring health related quality of life (HRQoL) in community and facility-based care settings with the interRAI assessment instruments: development of a crosswalk to HUI3
John P. Hirdes
- Springer International Publishing