Quality-of-life assessment of fibroid treatment options and outcomes.


Fennessy FM, Kong CY, Tempany CM, Swan SJ. Quality-of-life assessment of fibroid treatment options and outcomes. Radiology. 2011;259 (3) :785-92. Copy at http://www.tinyurl.com/y62dn44l

Date Published:

2011 Jun


PURPOSE: To obtain utilities (a unit of measure of a person's relative preferences for different health states compared with death or worst possible outcome) for uterine fibroids before and after treatment and to measure short-term utilities for the following uterine fibroid treatments: abdominal hysterectomy, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-guided focused ultrasound surgery, and uterine artery embolization (UAE). MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board and was HIPAA compliant. The waiting trade-off (WTO) method, a variation on the time trade-off (TTO) method, is used to obtain utilities for diagnostic procedures on the basis of the fact that people wait longer to avoid noxious tests and/or procedures. The WTO method provides short-term quality of life tolls in terms of quality-adjusted life-weeks by scaling wait times with pre- and posttreatment utilities. Utilities for uterine fibroids before and after treatment were obtained with the TTO method and a visual analog scale (VAS) by using a questionnaire administered by means of a phone interview. WTO wait times were adjusted for quality of life with VAS and TTO utilities and a transformation of VAS. Wait times were compared by using nonparametric tests. The study participants included 62 patients who had undergone abdominal hysterectomy, 74 who had undergone UAE, and 61 who had undergone MR imaging-guided focused ultrasound surgery. RESULTS: Quality of life increased with all treatments. The median WTO wait time was higher for hysterectomy (21.6 weeks) than for UAE or MR imaging-guided focused ultrasound surgery (14.1 weeks for both) (P < .05). Quality-adjusted life-week tolls were smaller when scaled according to TTO than when scaled according to VAS or transformation of VAS. CONCLUSION: Quality of life increased after all fibroid treatments. WTO is feasible for assessing the quality-adjusted morbidity of treatment procedures. SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL: http://radiology.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/radiol.11100704/-/DC1.