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Health state preference scores of children with spina bifida and their caregivers.

Tilford JM, Grosse SD, Robbins JM, Pyne JM, Cleves MA, Hobbs CA. Health state preference scores of children with spina bifida and their caregivers. Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation. 2005 May 1; 14(4):1087-98.

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Cost-effectiveness evaluations of interventions to prevent or treat spina bifida require quality of life information measured as preference scores. Preference scores of caregivers also may be relevant. This study tested whether the preference scores of children with spina bifida and their caregivers would decrease as disability in the child increased. Families of children aged 0-17 with spina bifida (N = 98) were identified using a birth defect surveillance system in the state of Arkansas. Primary caregivers of children with spina bifida identified other families with an unaffected child (N = 49). Preference scores for child health states were determined using the Health Utilities Index--Mark 2 (HUI2). Caregiver preference scores were determined using the Quality of Well-Being (QWB) scale. Children with spina bifida were categorized into three disability levels according to the location of the child's lesion. Mean preference scores declined for both affected children and the primary caregiver as disability in the child increased. In multivariate analysis, the preference score of the child was a significant and positive predictor of the primary caregiver's preference score. A more modest association was found for caregiver health preference scores by lesion location. The findings can inform cost-effectiveness evaluations of interventions to treat or prevent spina bifida.

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