AIMS: Rotavirus vaccines (RV) are safe and effective but demand significant investment of healthcare resource. In countries with low mortality due to rotavirus, a key component to assessing cost-effectiveness is quantifying the Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) lost due to rotavirus acute gastroenteritis (RVAGE).
METHODS: Families with children less than six years old with gastroenteritis were recruited from attendees to Bristol Children's Hospital Emergency Department. Stools were tested for viral causes of gastroenteritis. Children's HRQoL was assessed at presentation using Health Utilities Index 2 (HUI2) with visual analogue scale (VAS). The effect of the child's illness on the HRQoL of up to two adult carers was assessed using EQ-5D-5L. Families completed a daily symptom diary to assess time to recovery and within-family transmission.
RESULTS: 127 families consented to take part, 84(65%) had rotavirus as the cause of illness. At the time of attendance, mean paediatric HRQoL with RVAGE was 0.74(HUI2) and 0.42(VAS). Primary/secondary carer's HRQoL was 0.68/0.80 (EQ5D) or 0.70/0.79 (VAS). The mean number of QALYs lost due to RVAGE was 3.1-3.5 per thousand children and 7.7-8.7 per thousand family units. In 52% of RVAGE families at least one other member developed a secondary case of gastroenteritis. For working parents, 69% missed work, for a mean of 2.8 days (95% CI 2.3-3.4).
CONCLUSIONS: We have found the HRQoL loss associated with RVAGE in children and their carers to be significantly higher than estimates used for all RV medical attendances in UK cost-effectiveness calculations.