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Keywords:

  • quality of life;
  • urinary tract infection;
  • kidney infection;
  • bacteraemia;
  • spinal cord injury;
  • women;
  • cost–utility analysis

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Values for equivalent health states can vary substantially depending on the measure used and method of valuation; this has a direct impact on the results of economic analyses. To date, the majority of existing economic evaluations that include UTI as a health state refer to an analysis in which the Index of Well Being was used to estimate the quality of life experienced by young women with UTIs. Currently, there are no validated methods or filters for systematically searching for the type of generic quality of life data required for decision analytic models.

This study is the only systematic review of quality of life in people with UTI in the literature. Twelve studies were identified which report quality of life using a variety of generic methods; the results of these papers were summarized in a way that is useful for a health researcher seeking to populate a decision model, design a clinical study or assess the effect of UTI on quality of life relative to other conditions. One research group provided previously unpublished data from a large cohort study; these scores were mapped to EuroQol 5-Dimension values using published algorithms and probabilistic simulations.

The aim of this review was to identify studies that have evaluated the impact of symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI) and UTI-associated bacteraemia on quality of life, and to summarize these data in a way that is useful for a health researcher seeking to populate a cost–utility model, design a clinical study or assess the effect of UTIs on quality of life relative to other conditions. We conducted a systematic search of the literature using MEDLINE, EMBASE, the NHS Economic Evaluations database, Health Technology Assessment database, Health Economics Evaluations database, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry and EuroQol website. Studies that reported utility values for symptomatic UTI or UTI-associated bacteraemia derived from a generic QoL measurement tool or expert opinion were included. Studies using disease-specific instruments were excluded. Twelve studies were identified that included a generic measure of health-related quality of life for patients with UTIs. These measures included: the short-form (SF)-36 and SF-12 questionnaires; the Health Utilities Index Mark 2; Quality of Well Being; the Index of Well Being, standard gamble; the Health and Activity Limitation Index; and expert opinion. The authors of studies using either of the SF questionnaires were contacted for additional data. One research group provided previously unpublished data from a large cohort study; these scores were mapped to EuroQol 5-Dimension (EQ-5D) values using published algorithms and probabilistic simulations. The present review provides health researchers with several sources from which to select utility values to populate cost–utility models. It also shows that very few studies have measured quality of life in patients with UTI using generic preference-based measures of health and none have evaluated the impact of this health state on quality of life in children. Future studies ought to consider the inclusion of commonly used preference-based measures of health, such as the EQ-5D, in all patient populations experiencing symptomatic UTI or UTI-related complications.