Nevin Manimala Statistics

From simple to even simpler, but not too simple: a head-to-head comparison of the Better-Worse and Drop-Down methods for measuring patient health status

BMC Med Res Methodol. 2023 Dec 16;23(1):299. doi: 10.1186/s12874-023-02119-9.


BACKGROUND: We recently developed a novel, preference-based method (Better-Worse, BW) for measuring health status, expressed as a single metric value. We have since expanded it by developing the Drop-Down (DD) method. This article presents a head-to-head comparison of these two methods. We explored user feasibility, interpretability and statistics of the estimated coefficients, and distribution of the computed health-state values.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey among patients with various diseases in the USA. The BW and DD methods were applied in the two arms of the study, albeit in reverse order. In both arms, patients first performed a descriptive task (Task 1) to rate their own health status according to the 12 items (each with 4 levels) in the CS-Base health-outcome instrument. They then performed Task 2, in which they expressed preferences for health states by the two methods. We then estimated coefficients for all levels of each item using logistic regression and used these to compute values for health states.

RESULTS: Our total sample comprised 1,972 patients. Completion time was < 2 min for both methods. Both methods were scored as easy to perform. All DD coefficients were highly significant from the reference level (P < 0.001). For BW, however, only the second-level coefficient of “Cognition” was significantly different (P = 0.026). All DD coefficients were more precise with narrower confidence intervals than those of the BW method.

CONCLUSIONS: Both the BW and DD are novel methods that are easy to apply. The DD method outperformed the BW method in terms of the precision of produced coefficients. Due to its task, it is free from a specific distorting factor that was observed for the BW method.

PMID:38104119 | DOI:10.1186/s12874-023-02119-9

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