Background: The Asthma Symptom Utility Index (ASUI) is a preference-based outcome measure used in US clinical trials and cost-effectiveness studies for asthma. This study evaluated ASUI preference weights in Europe to determine whether the multi-attribute utility function, based on preferences from a US population, is generalizable across countries.
Methods: Data were collected from ninety asthma patients from Italy, France, and the United Kingdom using the Asthma Control Questionnaire, the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, and the ASUI. Subjects rated their preferences for 10 asthma health states using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and a standard gamble (SG) interview.
Results: All multi-symptom states showed statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) between countries in mean VAS scores. Mean SG utility scores between the US and France and the US and Italy demonstrated statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) for three states: severe wheeze; moderate cough and wheeze; and moderate cough and dyspnea. Because of these differences, the multi-attribute utility functions derived within countries were somewhat different. Despite these differences, country-specific algorithms captured a similar rank ordering of patients by disease severity, were strongly correlated (r = 0.971 to 0.995), and demonstrated similar relationships with symptom and AQLQ scores.
Conclusion: Results of this study suggest that the ASUI may be a complementary patient-reported outcome for clinical studies and may be useful for applications in cost-effectiveness studies comparing different asthma treatments.