Vestibular Schwannoma Quality-of-Life Assessment Shows Minimal Clinically Signicant Difference

What is the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in quality-of-life measures among different treatment modalities for patients with vestibular schwannoma?

Background: For patients with a vestibular schwannoma, there are different treatment or management options, including assessment with serial MRI scans, microsurgery, or radiosurgery. Studies using quality-of-life measures have attempted to compare outcomes among these treatment modalities.

Study design: Cross-sectional retrospective survey.

Setting: Two academic referral centers.

Synopsis: A total of 538 patients with vestibular schwannomas who had been evaluated and/or treated at either of two academic referral centers responded to a retrospective survey. Quality-of-life surveys included the PANQOL (Penn Acoustic Neuroma Quality Of Life) and SF-36 (Short Form Health Survey). Two methods, anchor-based and distribution-based, were used to determine the MCID for the two surveys. The recommended MCID for the PANQOL was 11. The recommended MCID for the SF-36 was seven for the mental component and eight for the physical component.

Bottom line: The MCID can be a useful tool to evaluate and compare group outcomes, and determining MCID values for the PANQOL and SF-36 surveys will allow better comparisons between studies of treatment outcomes for patients with vestibular schwannoma.

Citation: Carlson ML, Tveiten ØV, Yost KJ, Lohse CM, Lund-Johansen M, Link MJ. The minimal clinically significant difference in vestibular schwannoma quality-of-life assessment: an important step beyond P<.05. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;153:202-208.