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Med Devices (Auckl). 2018 Oct 1;11:345-351. doi: 10.2147/MDER.S165778. eCollection 2018.

Gains in health utility associated with urinary catheter innovations.

Author information

University of British Columbia, International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries (ICORD), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
Department of Continence Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
Head of Neuro-Urology Unit, Moinhos de Vento Hospital, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Department of Neurology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
Bladon Associates Ltd., Oxford, UK.
Incentive Partners ApS, Holte, Denmark.
Department of Urology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, Cambridge, UK.



To estimate gains in health utility for two different catheter features and a support service related to urinary catheters used for intermittent catheterization.

Patients and methods:

Two internet-based time trade-off (TTO) surveys were undertaken to value vignettes describing two innovative catheter features and a support service. The first TTO survey "Size and Service" included catheters with compact design and the availability of a support service for users; the second TTO survey "Phthalates" included avoidance of potentially harmful phthalates in the material of the catheters. All participants were from the UK; they traded health states against a time horizon that matched their total life expectancy. Sensitivity analyses were done to estimate the impact of extreme values on disutilities.


The participants (n=890) estimated the incremental value of 0.031 (95% CI: 0.024-0.039), 0.009 (95% CI: 0.003-0.015), and 0.037 (95% CI: 0.027-0.046), respectively, for catheters with compact design, availability of support service, and catheters not containing phthalates.


Participants valued all three improvements in catheter design. To capture the impact of such design improvements on quality of life and utilities, vignette-based approaches can be a useful supplement to the conventional, generic tools.


QALY; health-related quality of life; intermittent catheterization; time trade-off; vignette-based approach

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure AK, MAA, NT, and YI occasionally provide expert knowledge to advisory boards at Coloplast A/S. MB is employed by Incentive Partners Aps. The authors report no other conflicts of interest in this work

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