Deriving a preference-based utility measure for cancer patients from the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer's Quality of Life Questionnaire C30: a confirmatory versus exploratory approach

Dove Medical Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Patient Related Outcome Measures, 2014, 5 pp. 119 - 129
Issue Date:
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Background: Multi attribute utility instruments (MAUIs) are preference-based measures that comprise a health state classification system (HSCS) and a scoring algorithm that assigns a utility value to each health state in the HSCS. When developing a MAUI from a health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaire, first a HSCS must be derived. This typically involves selecting a subset of domains and items because HRQOL questionnaires typically have too many items to be amendable to the valuation task required to develop the scoring algorithm for a MAUI. Currently, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) followed by Rasch analysis is recommended for deriving a MAUI from a HRQOL measure. Aim: To determine whether confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) is more appropriate and efficient than EFA to derive a HSCS from the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer's core HRQOL questionnaire, Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30), given its well-established domain structure. Methods: QLQ-C30 (Version 3) data were collected from 356 patients receiving palliative radiotherapy for recurrent/metastatic cancer (various primary sites). The dimensional structure of the QLQ-C30 was tested with EFA and CFA, the latter informed by the established QLQ-C30 structure and views of both patients and clinicians on which are the most relevant items. Dimensions determined by EFA or CFA were then subjected to Rasch analysis. Results: CFA results generally supported the proposed QLQ-C30 structure (comparative fit index =0.99, Tucker–Lewis index =0.99, root mean square error of approximation =0.04). EFA revealed fewer factors and some items cross-loaded on multiple factors. Further assessment of dimensionality with Rasch analysis allowed better alignment of the EFA dimensions with those detected by CFA. Conclusion: CFA was more appropriate and efficient than EFA in producing clinically interpretable results for the HSCS for a proposed new cancer-specific MAUI. Our findings suggest that CFA should be recommended generally when deriving a preference-based measure from a HRQOL measure that has an established domain structure.
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