Utility-Weighted Modified Rankin Scale Scores for the Assessment of Stroke Outcome: Pooled Analysis of 20 000+ Patients

Stroke. 2020 Aug;51(8):2411-2417. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.028523. Epub 2020 Jul 9.


Background and purpose: Patient-centered care prioritizes patient beliefs and values towards wellbeing. We aimed to map functional status (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] scores) and health-related quality of life on the European Quality of Life 5-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D) to derive utility-weighted (UW) stroke outcome measures and test their statistical properties and construct validity.

Methods: UW-mRS scores were derived using linear regression, with mRS as a discrete ordinal explanatory response variable in 8 large international acute stroke trials. Linear regression models were used to validate UW-mRS scores by assessing differences in mean UW-mRS scores between the treatment groups of each trial. To explore the variability in EQ-5D between individual mRS categories, we generated receiver operator characteristic curves for EQ-5D to differentiate between sequential mRS categories and misclassification matrix to classify individual patients into a matched mRS category based on the closest UW-mRS value to their observed individual EQ-5D value.

Results: Among 22 946 acute stroke patients, derived UW-mRS across mRS scores 0 to 6 were 0.96, 0.83, 0.72, 0.54, 0.22, -0.18, and 0, respectively. Both UW-mRS and ordinal mRS scores captured divergent treatment effects across all 8 acute stroke trials. The sample sizes required to detect the treatment effects using UW-mRS scores as a continuous variable were almost half that required in trials for a binary cut point on the mRS. Area under receiver operator characteristic curves based on EQ-5D utility values varied from 0.66 to 0.81. Misclassification matrix showed moderate agreement between actual and matched mRS scores (kappa, 0.68 [95% CI, 0.67-0.68]).

Conclusions: Medical strategies that target avoiding dependency may provide maximum benefit in terms of poststroke health-related quality of life. Despite variable differences with mRS scores, the UW-mRS provides efficiency gains as a smaller sample size is required to detect a treatment effect in acute stroke trials through use of continuous scores. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifiers: NCT00226096, NCT00716079, NCT01422616, NCT02162017, NCT00120003, NCT02123875. URL: http://ctri.nic.in; Unique identifier: CTRI/2013/04/003557. URL: https://www.isrctn.com; Unique identifier: ISRCTN89712435.

Keywords: clinical trial; patient-centered care; quality of life; sample size; stroke.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Brain Ischemia / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic / methods
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic / standards
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN89712435
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00226096
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02162017
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00120003
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00716079
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01422616
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02123875