Time Trade-Off as a Measure of Health-Related Quality of Life: Long Bone Nonunions Have a Devastating Impact

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Background:Long bone nonunions have an important impact on a patient’s quality of life. The purpose of this study was to compare long bone nonunions with use of the Time Trade-Off direct measure to compute utility scores and to determine which nonunion anatomic location had the lowest health-related quality of life. The Time Trade-Off assesses the percentage of a patient’s remaining life that the patient would be willing to trade for perfect health.Methods:Eight hundred and thirty-two consecutive long bone nonunions with Time Trade-Off data were identified and were retrospectively studied from a prospectively collected patient database. Nonunions with infections and those involving the articular portion of the bone were recorded. Time Trade-Off utility scores were obtained for all nonunion cases upon their initial clinical evaluation by a single surgeon specializing in reconstructive trauma.Results:The mean utility score of our nonunion cohort was 0.68 and it differed significantly by long bone (p = 0.037). Nonunions of the forearm had the lowest utility score (0.54), followed by the clavicle (0.59), femur (0.68), tibia or fibula (0.68), and humerus (0.71). Post hoc tests showed that patients with nonunions of the forearm had significantly lower utility scores (p = 0.031) compared with all other bones.Conclusions:Patients diagnosed with a long bone nonunion have a very low health-related quality of life. We found that this single cohort’s mean utility score was 0.68. This result is well below that of illnesses such as type-I diabetes mellitus (0.88), stroke (0.81), and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (0.79). We found that patients with forearm nonunions had the lowest utility scores.Level of Evidence:Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

    loading  Loading Related Articles