Background: Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) causes profound suffering and decrements in daily functioning. Demand is growing for valid and reliable measures to systematically document these effects, particularly in adults. The Adult Sickle Cell Quality of Life Measurement System, ASCQ-Me℠, was developed for this purpose. ASCQ-Me℠ is one of four measurement systems housed within the Person-Centered Assessment Resource (PCAR), funded by the National Institutes of Health, to support clinical research. To help users select the best of these measures for adults with SCD, we evaluated and compared two PCAR systems: one designed to be "universally applicable" (the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System, PROMIS®) and one designed specifically for SCD (ASCQ-Me℠).
Methods: Respondents to PROMIS and ASCQ-Me questions were 490 adults with SCD from seven geographically-disbursed clinics within the US. Data were collected for six ASCQ-Me measures (Emotional Impact, Sleep Impact, Social Impact, Stiffness Impact, Pain Impact, SCD Pain Episode Frequency and Severity) and ten PROMIS measures (Pain Impact, Pain Behavior, Physical Functioning, Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue, Satisfaction with Discretionary Social Activities, Satisfaction with Social Roles, Sleep Disturbance, and Sleep-Related Impairment). Statistical analyses, including analysis of variance and multiple linear regression, were conducted to determine the sensitivity of measures to SCD severity. SCD severity was assessed via a checklist of associated treatments and conditions.
Results: For those with the most severe SCD, PROMIS scores showed worse health compared to the general population for nine of ten health domains: the magnitude of the difference ranged 0.5 to 1.1 standard deviation units. The PROMIS domains most severely affected were Physical Functioning and Pain (Impact and Behavior). Significant differences by tertile of the SCD-MHC were shown for most PROMIS short forms and all ASCQ-Me short and fixed forms. In most models, ASCQ-Me measures explained statistically significant unique variance in SCD-MHC scores complementary to that explained by corresponding PROMIS measures.
Conclusions: Study results supported the validity of both PROMIS and ASCQ-Me measures for use in adults with SCD. Compared to comparable PROMIS scores, most ASCQ-Me scores were better predictors of SCD disease severity, as measured by a medical history checklist. The clinical implications of these results require further investigation.
Keywords: ASCQ-Me℠; Item response theory; PROMIS®; Patient-reported outcomes; Validity, Sickle cell disease.