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The SPVU-5D: A Preference-based Measure of Health Related Quality of Life for Use with Venous Leg Ulceration

Simon Palfreyman, BSc, MSc, RGN, PhD
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK


Keywords: quality of life, preference-based, venous ulceration, quality adjusted life years

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The SPVU-5D is a new conditionspecific preference-based measure of health-related quality of life for use in the assessment of the impact of venous ulceration. It has five dimensions encompassing physical, psychological and social aspects. The dimensions have between three and five levels. The measure was developed from the bottom-up and incorporates items generated from patients. The measure has been shown to have goodpracticality and validity. Preferenceweights and a scoring algorithm were produced based on valuations from the UK population.

A leg ulcer is a wound on the lower leg that fails to heal within six weeks.1 Around 80% of all ulcers occurring on the leg are venous ulcers.2 They are relatively common, especially in the elderly, having an incidence of between 1.5 and 3.0 per 1000.3 The presence of an ulcer can result in a number of symptoms including pain, restricted mobility, excessive leakage of wound exudate, depression, and an offensive smell emanating from the wound.4-6 The best treatment for venous ulcers is the application of compression bandages.7 These have to be worn for a week and can be uncomfortable and restrict normal activities.8 Many patients rate the easing of symptoms and improved quality of life as higher priorities than the actual healing of their wound.9

A recent systematic review found a total of seven condition-specific Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) that had been applied to people with venous leg ulcers.10 However, all of the existing instruments showed limitations in relation to their applicability to venous ulcer patients due to flaws in their design or validation. Furthermore none of the instruments were preference-based. This article briefly describes the process of development and validation of a new preference-based instrument.


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