A study to determine the quality of life and experiences for liver and kidney transplant recipients and living kidney donors in Western Australia: the economic implications

Catherine O'Driscoll

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The use of quality-of-life as an outcome measure provides detailed information about the effectiveness of medical treatments than morbidity or mortality rates alone. The use of quality-of-life data in the clinical setting can inform patients regarding treatment options, treatment benefits and costs. In competing health care markets, outcome measurement is regarded as important as it is concerned with the impact of health care practice and affects health policy decisions. Doessel (1978) conducted the first Australian study on the cost-effectiveness analysis of renal replacement therapies. The study was based on Klarman, Francis & Rosenthal's (1968) the study, where the output was measured in terms of the number of life years gained from kidney transplantation, and a twenty-five percent weight was allocated in an attempt to capture quality-of-life from kidney transplantation. Doessel (1978) used two sources of data: Australian data (Disney 1974) and European data (Gurland et al. 1973; Shiel et al. 1974). The study measured life years gained, and agreed with the Klarman et al. (1974) findings that transplantation is the most effective way to increase life expectancy of persons with chronic renal disease (Butler & Doessel 1989). The outputs of the alternative treatments were not reported in monetary terms; the study focused on life years gained as the output measure. Hence the importance of this current study, which includes a cost-effectiveness analysis for cadaver liver, and living kidney transplantation for end-stage liver and kidney disease patients. Calls to respect patient autonomy and to produce patient-centered outcomes have recently brought the patient’s point of view back into the center of clinical medicine (Sullivan 2003). Survival rates indicate one measure of outcome however they do not reflect patients’ perceptions of health benefit or experiences. Noting that patients’ psychosocial effect on functioning is of more concern to them than their physical Thesis Preamble iii ability, that more accurate knowledge of patients’ conditions be measured prior to transplantation (Tarter et al. 1991). Recently researchers advocated investigating transplant patients' states of health to assess the social benefit of these expensive health care services from their perspective (Joralemon & Fujinaga 1997). The current study's mixed method, bridges the gaps in treatment outcome measurements, as the mixed method applied (Creswell 1994; Sim & Sharp 1998) prospectively measured quality-oflife, determined health utility, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). The study reported the living donors experience of the donation process, described their needs; expressed using a new psychosocial model supporting future living kidney donor's during the donation process.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008


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