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Haemophilia. 2002 Mar;8(2):121-8.

Haemophilia Utilization Group Study: assessment of functional health status in haemophilia.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, School of Pharmacy, USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.


The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between health care and utilization of that health care, and to provide a base measurement of health status in patients with haemophilia. Provider interview and retrospective chart review of 336 patients with haemophilia treated during 1995 at one of five comprehensive haemophilia treatment centres was conducted to measure patient health status characteristics and utilization of health care. Two health status scales were included. The first, the Self-Care Measure, was a four-point single item scale measuring the patient's ability for basic self-care, which was scored by a chart review and an interview with the health-care provider. The second, the Haemophilia Utilization Group Study (HUGS) Functional Status Measure, is a four-item, 10-point scale developed specifically for patients with haemophilia. Our sample represents 27% of actively treated patients in region IX. The mean score on the HUGS Functional Status Measure was 8.7 (SD=2.4). The HUGS scale exhibited a ceiling effect across all four scales: attitude (n=269, 80.1%), overall wellbeing (n=263, 78.3%), working (n=254, 75.6%) and orthopaedic status (n=195, 58.0%). Both higher total health-care costs and factor VIII annual costs were significantly associated with lower scores on the HUGS Functional Status Measure. Health status is a critical component in the assessment of the utilization and outcomes of care. In the absence of the availability of a patient interview, the HUGS Functional Status Measure can be used as one characteristic that explains the variation in the utilization of health care by patients with haemophilia.

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