Combining distribution- and anchor-based approaches to determine minimally important differences: The FACIT Experience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

200 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important endpoint in cancer clinical trials and in cancer treatment in general; however, the meaningfulness of HRQOL scores may not be apparent to clinicians or researchers. Minimally important differences (MIDs) can enhance the interpretability of HRQOL scores by identifying differences likely to be meaningful to patients and clinicians. This article's objective is to describe and provide examples of approaches we have used to identify MIDs for instruments in the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT) measurement system. Distribution- and anchor-based approaches are described and illustrated. We also discuss the importance of assessing the appropriateness of anchors, and we provide suggestions for combining results into a single range of plausible MIDs. MIDs for FACIT instruments established to date are summarized, and general guidelines that can be used to estimate MIDs for other FACIT instruments are provided. Applications of MIDs in research are illustrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-191
Number of pages20
JournalEvaluation and the Health Professions
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

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chronic illness
quality of life
Chronic Disease
Quality of Life
cancer
health
experience
Therapeutics
Neoplasms
Research Personnel
Clinical Trials
Guidelines
Research

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Clinical significance
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Minimally important difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Health Policy

Cite this

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abstract = "Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important endpoint in cancer clinical trials and in cancer treatment in general; however, the meaningfulness of HRQOL scores may not be apparent to clinicians or researchers. Minimally important differences (MIDs) can enhance the interpretability of HRQOL scores by identifying differences likely to be meaningful to patients and clinicians. This article's objective is to describe and provide examples of approaches we have used to identify MIDs for instruments in the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT) measurement system. Distribution- and anchor-based approaches are described and illustrated. We also discuss the importance of assessing the appropriateness of anchors, and we provide suggestions for combining results into a single range of plausible MIDs. MIDs for FACIT instruments established to date are summarized, and general guidelines that can be used to estimate MIDs for other FACIT instruments are provided. Applications of MIDs in research are illustrated.",
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