Objective: To obtain quality-of-life (QOL) valuations associated with mammography screening and breast cancer treatment that are suitable for use in cost-effectiveness analyses.
Methods: Subjects comprised 131 women (age range 50-79 years) randomly sampled from a breast cancer screening program. In an in-person or telephone interview, women rated the QOL impact of 14 clinical scenarios (ranging from mammography to end-of-life care for breast cancer) using a visual analogue scale anchored by death (0) and perfect health/quality of life (100).
Results: Women rated the scenarios describing true negative results, false positive results, and routine screening mammography at 80 or above on a scale of 0-100, suggesting that they perceive these states as being close to perfect health. They rated adjuvant chemotherapy (39.7; range 10-90), palliation/end-of-life care (35.8; range 0-100), and recurrence at 1 year (33.0; range 0-95) the lowest, suggesting that these health states are perceived as compromised. Women rated receiving news of a breast cancer diagnosis (true positive) (45.7; range 5-100) and receiving delayed news of a breast cancer diagnosis (false negative) (48.5; range 5-100) as being comparable to undergoing mastectomy (48.3; range 10-100) and radiation therapy (46.2; range 5-100) for breast cancer.
Conclusions: These data can be used to update cost analyses of mammography screening that wish to take into account the QOL impact of screening.