Health values of the seriously ill. SUPPORT investigators.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

OBJECTIVE: To assess 1) the health values and health ratings of seriously ill hospitalized patients, their surrogate decision makers, and their physicians; 2) the determinants of health values; and 3) whether health values change over time. DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal, multicenter study. SETTING: 5 academic medical centers. PARTICIPANTS: 1438 seriously ill patients with at least one of nine diseases who had a projected overall 6-month mortality rate of 50%; their surrogates; and their physicians. MEASUREMENTS: Time-tradeoff utilities (reflecting preferences for a shorter but healthy life) and health ratings. RESULTS: At study day 3, patients had a mean time-tradeoff utility of 0.73 +/- 0.32 (median [25th, 75th percentile], 0.92 [0.63, 1.0]), indicating that they equated living 1 year in their current state of health with living 8.8 months in excellent health. However, scores varied widely; 34.8% of patients were unwilling to exchange any time in their current state of health for a shorter life in excellent health (utility, 1.0), and 9.0% were willing to live 2 weeks or less in excellent health rather than 1 year in their current state of health (utility, 0.04). Health rating scores averaged 57.8 +/- 24.0 (median [25th percentile, 75th percentile], 60 [50, 75]) on a scale of 0 (death) to 100 (perfect health). The patients' mean time-tradeoff score exceeded that of their paired surrogates (n = 1041) by 0.08 (P < 0.0001). Time-tradeoff scores were related to psychosocial well-being; health ratings; desire for resuscitation and extension of life rather than relief of pain and discomfort; degree of willingness to live with constant pain; and perceived prognosis for survival and independent functioning. Scores of surviving patients increased by an average of 0.06 after 2 months (P < 0.0001) and 0.08 after 6 months (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Health values of seriously ill patients vary widely, are higher than patients' surrogates believe, are related to few other preference and health status measures, and increase over time.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tsevat, J; Cook, EF; Green, ML; Matchar, DB; Dawson, NV; Broste, SK; Wu, AW; Phillips, RS; Oye, RK; Goldman, L

Published Date

  • April 1, 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 122 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 514 - 520

PubMed ID

  • 7872587

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-4819

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7326/0003-4819-122-7-199504010-00007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States