Comparison of Scores Derived from the Box Score-11 Scale and the Pain Attribute of the Health Utilities Index-3

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Abstract

Background:

Pain is widespread, but has not yet been the focus of measurement in terms of patient preferences. This type of measure is needed for pharmacoeconomic analyses of pain medications.

Objective:

Our objective was to compare scores from the Box Score (BS)-11 scale and the pain attribute of the Health Utilities Index (HUI)-3.

Methods:

English- and/or French-speaking adult patients (aged ≥18 years) were recruited from pain clinics in four Canadian metropolitan areas (Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver). Those providing informed consent completed both pain scales, assessing their average pain level over the previous 4 weeks. Kendall's Tau-b was calculated between score sets. Answers provided by patients were then used to determine the proportions of each of the BS-11 scores that mapped onto each of the five HUI-3 pain scores.

Results:

Six of the 516 completed questionnaires had missing information, leaving 510 for analysis. The average age of patients was 49.5 ± 11.9 years; 70% were female. Tau-b was reasonably large and statistically significant between the scales (τ = 0.685; p < 0.001). No patients had zero scores on BS-11, and two patients scored 1, yielding inconclusive results for that score. Eight of the remaining nine BS-11 scores mapped ≥60% onto HUI-3 pain scores. BS-11 scores 2 and 10 had the best mapping (88% and 94%, respectively).

Conclusions:

BS-11 scores can be mapped onto the pain attribute of the HUI-3 with a high degree of correlation.

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