Healthy-years equivalents (HYEs) have been proposed as an evaluative measure with advantages over quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). The main purpose was to assess the feasibility of eliciting HYEs from patients who have undergone major joint replacement; a secondary objective was to examine relationships with postsurgical health status.
Pre- and postsurgical reports of perceived comorbidity and current arthritic burden were obtained from 194 patients, using a comorbidity checklist, summary scores from the Western Ontario/McMaster Osteoarthritis Questionnaire (WOMAC), summary scores derived from six Likert scales, and holistic utility scores for the same attributes. After surgery, HYEs for the full across-time health profile were also elicited.
All measures of arthritic burden were sensitive to pre/postsurgical changes (p = .0001), and comorbidity scores were stable. Two HYE subgroups emerged. An HYE-invariant subgroup ascribed full HYEs to their profiles, while reporting higher Likert (t = 2.1309; p = .0344) and utility (s = 4.1504; p = .0001) scores for their postsurgical health state. An HYE-variant subgroup reported HYEs that were weakly but significantly (p