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SF-6D utility values for the better- and worse-seeing eye for health states based on the Snellen equivalent in patients with age-related macular degeneration.

PLoS ONE 2017, vol. 12, issue 2


Economic evaluations in wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is hampered as often utility values for solely one eye are used, mostly the better-seeing eye (BSE). Moreover, frequently chosen methods rely on patient values and/or disease specific measures, while economic evaluations prefer generic quality of life (QoL) measures based on societal preferences. The generic QoL utility instrument EQ-5D has shown to be insensitive for differences in visual acuity. The aim of this study was therefore to provide societal utility values, using the generic SF-6D, for health states acknowledging both BSE and worse-seeing eye (WSE).


SF-6D utility values of 191 ARMD patients (≥65 years) with 153 follow-up measures at 1 year were used to fill health states defined by the combination of BSE and WSE using Snellen equivalents; no visual loss (≥20/40), mild-moderate (20/200) and severe (≤20/200).


QoL utilities were estimated for the SF-6D, ranging from 0.740 for ARMD patients without visual loss to 0.684 for patients with a combination of mild-moderate visual loss in their BSE and severe visual loss in their WSE.


Societal utility values are provided for ARMD patients using the generic QoL instrument SF-6D for visual acuity health states based on both BSE and WSE. The range of the values is smaller than previous elicited utilities with the disease-specific VisQoL. Besides, the utility values are placed on a more realistic position on the utility scale, and SF-6D utility values avoid the problem associated with the interpretation of disease-specific utility values.

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