Exploring the Impact of Quality of Life on Survival: A Case Study in Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Health Economics Unit PhD candidate Michelle Tew recently published her work examining the impact of incorporating quality-of-life (QoL) measures when extrapolating survival in Medical Decision Making. This work was co-authored together with her supervisors Associate Professor Kim Dalziel and Professor Philip Clarke and collaborators Michelle Dowsey and Peter Choong from the St. Vincent’s Hospital Department of Surgery.

The study aimed to investigate the effect of accounting for the relationship between QoL (baseline and change) and mortality when extrapolating outcomes to a lifetime horizon illustrated with a case study in total knee replacement surgery. The results showed that correlations between QoL and mortality can influence health outcomes such as life expectancies and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and consequently incremental QALYs. Although observable differences in LE and QALYs were small, this could translate into an important difference in incremental QALYs and can be relevant in cost-effectiveness calculations. Therefore, future approaches to estimate survival for economic evaluations should consider the inclusion of QoL because overlooking this correlation can result in imprecise extrapolations and risk misleading results affecting subsequent decisions made by policy makers.

Further details and access to the article can be found here.