A Systematic Review of Utilities in Hand Surgery Literature
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PURPOSE: To systematically review the literature to determine if utilities (a quantitative way to express patient preferences for health outcomes) have been measured in hand surgery studies. METHODS: A literature search was conducted using Cochrane, EMBASE, HealthSTAR, MEDLINE, and CINAHL electronic databases (1966-2013). This search was supplemented by cited and manual reference searches and expert consultation to retrieve all relevant studies. Studies were selected by 2 independent reviewers if they pertained to hand or wrist surgery, were published in English, and measured utilities as an outcome. Descriptive data were extracted, including the hand surgery procedure investigated, study design, value of utilities, and methodology of utilities measurement. RESULTS: Eleven studies were included after reviewing 989 studies. Most hand conditions were associated with utilities less than 0.8. Utilities in the reviewed studies were measured using different methods and from different subjects. Three studies paradoxically mapped greater utilities for poorer heath states. CONCLUSIONS: Hand conditions cause impairment, as evidenced by their utilities. Measurement of utilities remains uncommon in hand surgery literature. Future studies should not only measure utilities but also do so with consistent and appropriate methodology to ensure that mapped values are valid and comparable. TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Economic/decision analysis III.
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