Quantifying the utility of taking pills for preventing adverse health outcomes: a cross-sectional survey.

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OBJECTIVES: The utility value attributed to taking pills for prevention can have a major effect on the cost-effectiveness of interventions, but few published studies have systematically quantified this value. We sought to quantify the utility value of taking pills used for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Central North Carolina. PARTICIPANTS: 708 healthcare employees aged 18 years and older. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOMES: Utility values for taking 1 pill/day, assessed using time trade-off, modified standard gamble and willingness-to-pay methods. RESULTS: Mean age of respondents was 43 years (19-74). The majority of the respondents were female (83%) and Caucasian (80%). Most (80%) took at least 2 pills/day. Mean utility values for taking 1 pill/day using the time trade-off method were: 0.9972 (95% CI 0.9962 to 0.9980). Values derived from the standard gamble and willingness-to-pay methods were 0.9967 (0.9954 to 0.9979) and 0.9989 (95% CI 0.9986 to 0.9991), respectively. Utility values varied little across characteristics such as age, sex, race, education level or number of pills taken per day. CONCLUSIONS: The utility value of taking pills daily in order to prevent an adverse CVD health outcome is approximately 0.997.





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Hutchins, Robert, Michael P Pignone, Stacey L Sheridan and Anthony J Viera (2015). Quantifying the utility of taking pills for preventing adverse health outcomes: a cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open, 5(5). p. e006505. 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006505 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15925.

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Robert Preston Hutchins

Consulting Associate in the Department of Medicine

Anthony Joseph Viera

Leonard J. & Margaret Goldwater Distinguished Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health

My major area of research is cardiovascular disease prevention. I am particularly interested in improving detection and control of hypertension. Since assessment of blood pressure begins with measurement, my studies often include out-of-office BP measurement techniques including 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring and home BP monitoring.

I am also interested in obesity prevention, and in another line of research am examining the effectiveness of food labeling policies (such as calorie-labeling) on people's food and physical activity decisions.

As a family physician, I enjoy providing full-scope primary care (acute care, chronic illness care, preventive services) to patients of all ages and from all walks of life.

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