How Should We Capture Health State Utility in Dementia? Comparisons of DEMQOL-Proxy-U and of Self- and Proxy-Completed EQ-5D-5L [Editor's Choice]



Dementia-specific and proxy-completed preference-based measures have been proposed for use in intervention studies involving people living in residential care, in instances where generic, self-reported preference-based measures have been deemed inappropriate.


This study was conducted to investigate the construct validity, criterion validity, and responsiveness of DEMQOL-Proxy-U and of self- and proxy-completed EQ-5D-5L.


The analysis used a 3-wave, individual-level data set of 1004 people living with dementia in residential care that included self-completed EQ-5D-5L and formal-carer and informal-carer proxy-completed EQ-5D-5L and DEMQOL-Proxy-U utility values, in addition to other nonutility cognitive measures (Functional Assessment Staging [FAST], Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR], Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory [CMAI]) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures (nursing home version of the Quality of Life with Alzheimer's disease scale [QOL-AD-NH], Quality of Life in Late-Stage Dementia [QUALID] scale). Construct validity, criterion validity, and responsiveness were assessed using correlation, Bland-Altman plots, and panel data regression models.


Self-completed EQ-5D-5L failed to reflect clinically important differences and changes in FAST, CDR, and CMAI but did capture the resident's own view of HRQOL (QOL-AD-NH). As dementia severity increased, collection of EQ-5D-5L-proxy and DEMQOL-Proxy-U data was more feasible than collection of self-completed EQ-5D-5L. These formal-carer and informal-carer proxy measures also better reflected changes in FAST, CDR, and CMAI but did not capture the resident's own view of HRQOL (QOL-AD-NH), despite adequately capturing the proxy's own view of the resident's HRQOL (QUALID). This indicates discrepancies between a proxy's view and resident's view of the impact that tangible declines in health, cognition, or functional abilities have on HRQOL. The EQ-5D-5L-proxy and DEMQOL-Proxy-U were generally poor substitutes. Regardless of which proxy completed it, the EQ-5D-5L-proxy was typically more responsive than the DEMQOL-Proxy-U to changes in CDR, FAST, and CMAI, indicating that use of the DEMQOL-Proxy-U is not always justified.


Disparities in the measurement properties of different utility measures mean that choices about how to measure utility in trials could affect economic evaluation outcomes and hence how resources are allocated for dementia care.


Adam Martin David Meads Alys W. Griffiths Claire A. Surr

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