Aims: Different estimates exist regarding the impact of diabetic retinopathy (DR) on health utility. A previously reported prospective observational study has reported much larger decrements in self-reported utility than generic utility data from the UK Prospective Diabetes Study and the Lipids in Diabetes Study. The present study was designed to estimate utility loss using multiple methods.
Methods: Detailed health state descriptions reflecting declining DR (five different visual acuity levels), neuropathy and nephropathy were validated with patients and used to elicit utility values from people with DR, people with diabetes and members of the UK general public using standard gamble. In addition, a larger sample of people with retinopathy completed different health-related quality of life measures in an interview [EuroQoL (EQ-5D), Health State Utilities Index (HUI)-3, and National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire-25].
Results: The utility scores from the standard gamble interviews were not significantly different between the three groups. There was a decline in utility from 6/6 vision to counting fingers of -0.244. The utility data derived from the generic measures revealed an equivalent decline of -0.41 on both the EQ-5D single index and the HUI-3.
Conclusions: This study has re-examined the utility decrements associated with DR and has identified much larger declines in utility than previously reported. The study has also reported the utility values of patients with retinopathy as assessed by standard gamble. We believe that this may be the first study to report utility values for health states associated with vision loss which have been elicited from patients with vision loss.