Establishing a composite endpoint for measuring the effectiveness of geriatric interventions based on older persons' and informal caregivers' preference weights: a vignette study

Cynthia S. Hofman*, Peter Makai, Han Boter, Bianca M. Buurman, Anton J. M. de Craen, Marcel G. M. Olde Rikkert, Rogier A. R. T. Donders, Rene J. F. Melis

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Background: The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey Minimal Dataset's (TOPICS-MDS) questionnaire which measures relevant outcomes for elderly people was successfully incorporated into over 60 research projects of the Dutch National Care for the Elderly Programme. A composite endpoint (CEP) for this instrument would be helpful to compare effectiveness of the various intervention projects. Therefore, our aim is to establish a CEP for the TOPICS-MDS questionnaire, based on the preferences of elderly persons and informal caregivers.

    Methods: A vignette study was conducted with 200 persons (124 elderly and 76 informal caregivers) as raters. The vignettes described eight TOPICS-MDS outcomes of older persons (morbidity, functional limitations, emotional wellbeing, pain experience, cognitive functioning, social functioning, self-perceived health and self-perceived quality of life) and the raters assessed the general well-being (GWB) of these vignette cases on a numeric rating scale (0-10). Mixed linear regression analyses were used to derive the preference weights of the TOPICS-MDS outcomes (dependent variable: GWB scores; fixed factors: the eight outcomes; unstandardized coefficients: preference weights).

    Results: The mixed regression model that combined the eight outcomes showed that the weights varied from 0.01 for social functioning to 0.16 for self-perceived health. A model that included "informal caregiver" showed that the interactions between this variable and each of the eight outcomes were not significant (p > 0.05).

    Conclusion: A preference-weighted CEP for TOPICS-MDS questionnaire was established based on the preferences of older persons and informal caregivers. With this CEP optimal comparing the effectiveness of interventions in older persons can be realized.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number51
    Number of pages8
    JournalBMC Geriatrics
    Publication statusPublished - 18-Apr-2014


    • Composite endpoint
    • Preference-weighted
    • Elderly persons
    • Informal caregivers
    • Effectiveness
    • Geriatric interventions
    • PROXY

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