Gains in health utility associated with urinary catheter innovations

Med Devices (Auckl). 2018 Oct 1:11:345-351. doi: 10.2147/MDER.S165778. eCollection 2018.


Purpose: To estimate gains in health utility for two different catheter features and a support service related to urinary catheters used for intermittent catheterization.

Patients and methods: Two internet-based time trade-off (TTO) surveys were undertaken to value vignettes describing two innovative catheter features and a support service. The first TTO survey "Size and Service" included catheters with compact design and the availability of a support service for users; the second TTO survey "Phthalates" included avoidance of potentially harmful phthalates in the material of the catheters. All participants were from the UK; they traded health states against a time horizon that matched their total life expectancy. Sensitivity analyses were done to estimate the impact of extreme values on disutilities.

Results: The participants (n=890) estimated the incremental value of 0.031 (95% CI: 0.024-0.039), 0.009 (95% CI: 0.003-0.015), and 0.037 (95% CI: 0.027-0.046), respectively, for catheters with compact design, availability of support service, and catheters not containing phthalates.

Conclusions: Participants valued all three improvements in catheter design. To capture the impact of such design improvements on quality of life and utilities, vignette-based approaches can be a useful supplement to the conventional, generic tools.

Keywords: QALY; health-related quality of life; intermittent catheterization; time trade-off; vignette-based approach.