A combination of distribution- and anchor-based approaches determined minimally important differences (MIDs) for four endpoints in a breast cancer scale
Eton, David T.; Cella, David; Yost, Kathleen J.; Yount, Susan E.; Peterman, Amy H.; Neuberg, Donna S.; Sledge, George W.; Wood, William C.
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
OBJECTIVE: To determine distribution- and anchor-based minimal important difference (MID) estimates for four scores from the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B): the breast cancer subscale (BCS), Trial Outcome Index (TOI), FACT-G (the general version), and FACT-B. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We used data from a Phase III clinical trial in metastatic breast cancer (ECOG study 1193; n=739) and a prospective observational study of pain in metastatic breast cancer (n=129). One third and one half of the standard deviation and 1 standard error of measurement were used as distribution-based criteria. Clinical indicators used to determine anchor-based differences included ECOG performance status, current pain, and response to treatment. RESULTS: FACT-B scores were responsive to performance status and pain anchors, but not to treatment response. By combining the results of distribution- and anchor-based methods, MID estimates were obtained: BCS=2-3 points, TOI=5-6 points, FACT-G=5-6 points, and FACT-B=7-8 points. CONCLUSION: Distribution- and anchor-based estimates of the MID do show convergence. These estimates can be used in combination with other measures of efficacy to determine meaningful benefit and provide a basis for sample size estimation in clinical trials.