We assessed preferences for current health using the visual analogue scale (VAS), standard gamble (SG), time trade-off (TTO), and willingness to pay (WTP) in patients with cerebral aneurysms, a population vulnerable to cognitive deficits related to aneurysm bleeding or treatment.
We measured VAS, SG, TTO, and WTP values for current health in 165 outpatients with cerebral aneurysms. We assessed cognitive impairment with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE; scores < 24 = cognitive impairment). We examined the distributions of preference responses stratified by cognitive status, and the relationship between preferences and cognitive impairment, patient characteristics, and aneurysm history.
Eleven patients (7%) had MMSE scores < 24. The distribution of preferences responses from patients with cognitive impairment had greater variance (SG, 0.39 vs. 0.21, P = 0.001; TTO, 0.36 vs. 0.24, P = 0.017) and altered morphology (VAS, P = 0.012; SG, P = 0.023) compared to the responses of unimpaired patients. There was good correlation between most preference measures for unimpaired patients (VAS:TTO, rho = 0.19, P = 0.018; SG:TTO, rho = 0.36, P < 0.001; SG:WTP, rho = -0.33, P < 0.001) and a trend towards significance with another pairing (VAS:WTP, rho = 0.16, P = 0.054). In subjects with cognitive impairment, there was a significant correlation only between VAS and TTO scores (rho = 0.76, P = 0.023). Separate regression models showed that cognitive impairment was associated with lower preferences on the VAS (β = -0.12, P = 0.048), SG (β = -0.23, P = 0.002), and TTO (β = -0.17, P = 0.035).