Aim: This study assessed the responsiveness and convergent validity of two preference-based measures; the newly developed cancer-specific EORTC Quality of Life Utility Measure-Core 10 dimensions (QLU-C10D) relative to the generic three-level version of the EuroQol 5 dimensions (EQ-5D-3L) in evaluating short-term health related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes after esophagectomy. Methods: Participants were enrolled in a multicentre randomised controlled trial to determine the impact of preoperative and postoperative immunonutrition versus standard nutrition in patients with esophageal cancer. HRQoL was assessed seven days before and 42 days after esophagectomy. Standardized Response Mean and Effect Size were calculated to assess responsiveness. Ceiling effects for each dimension were calculated as the proportion of the best level responses for that dimension at follow-up/post-operatively. Convergent validity was assessed using Spearman’s correlation and the level of agreement was explored using Bland–Altman plots. Results: Data from 164 respondents (mean age: 63 years, 81% male) were analysed. HRQoL significantly reduced on both measures with large effect sizes (> 0.80), and a greater mean difference (0.29 compared to 0.16) on QLU-C10D. Both measures had ceiling effects (> 15%) on all dimensions at baseline. Following esophagectomy, ceiling effects were observed with self-care (86%), mobility (67%), anxiety/depression (55%) and pain/discomfort (19%) dimensions on EQ-5D-3L. For QLU-C10D ceiling effects were observed with emotional function (53%), physical function (16%), nausea (35%), sleep (31%), bowel problems (21%) and pain (20%). A strong correlation (r = 0.71) was observed between EQ-5D-3L anxiety and QLU-C10D emotional function dimensions. Good agreement (3.7% observations outside the limits of agreement) was observed between the utility scores. Conclusion: The QLU-C10D is comparable to the more widely applied generic EQ-5D-3L, however, QLU-C10D was more sensitive to short-term utility changes following esophagectomy. Cognisant of requirements by policy makers to apply generic utility measures in cost effectiveness studies, the disease-specific QLU-C10D should be used alongside the generic measures like EQ-5D-3L. Trial registration: The trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ACTRN12611000178943) on the 15th of February 2011.
- Ceiling effects
- Convergent validity
- Health related quality of life