All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for June 2003

Patient and community preferences for treatments and health states in multiple sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis, 1 June 2003, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 311-319(9
Prosser L.A.[1]; Kuntz K.M.[2]; Bar-Or A.[3]; Weinstein M.C.[2]
[1] Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Boston, MA, USA [2] Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA [3] Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


To examine preferences for treatments and health states for patients with relapsing-remitting MS and members of the community.


A survey was developed to evaluate health-related quality-of-life measures (utilities) for three treatments and six MS health states using a utility-elicitation software package, U-Titer II.

Sixty-two MS patients at two large teaching hospitals in Boston, MA, and 67 members of the general community in San Diego, CA, completed the health-related quality-of-life survey using a computer.


Assessment of quality of life decreased as disability level of MS health states increased for both respondent groups.

Respondents rated less-disabled health states relatively highly (>0.94 for patients and >0.89 for community respondents).

Quality-of-life measures for treatments in mean utilities ranged from 0.80 to 0.96.

Patients assigned higher utilities for both MS health states and treatment states than community respondents; the ratings became more disparate as health states worsened.


On average, respondents assigned utilities to currently available treatments for MS that are comparable to those of mild to moderate stages of the disease itself.

These results underscore the importance of including preferences for health states and treatment alternatives in the decision to initiate treatment for individual patients or in the evaluation of effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of these treatments in patients with MS.