Purpose: There is a gap of information describing the health state utility values (HSUVs) of Transfusion-dependent Thalassemia (TDT) patients in Malaysia. These values are useful in the assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), economic evaluations and provide guidance to disease management decisions. The objective of this study was to estimate and derive HSUVs associated with the treatment and complications of TDT patients in Malaysia using the EQ-5D-3L instrument.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey using the EQ-5D-3L instrument was conducted between May to September 2018 across various public hospitals in Malaysia. Using a multi-stage sampling, patients diagnosed with TDT and receiving iron chelating therapy were sampled. The findings on the EQ-5D-3L survey were converted into utility values using local tariff values. A two-part model was used to examine and derive health state utility values associated with the treatment and complications of iron overload in TDT.
Results: A total of 585 patients were surveyed. The unadjusted mean (SD) EQ-5D-3L utility value for TDT patients were 0.893 (0.167) while mean (SD) EQ VAS score was 81.22 (16.92). Patients who had more than two iron overload complications had a significant decline in HRQoL. Patients who were on oral monotherapy had a higher utility value of 0.9180 compared to other regimen combinations.
Conclusion: Lower EQ-5D-3L utility values were associated with patients who developed iron overload complications and were on multiple iron chelating agents. Emphasizing compliance to iron chelating therapy to prevent the development of complications is crucial in the effort to preserve the HRQoL of TDT patients.