How to interpret CEA results with different cycle length

Hello, 

I am conducting a cost-utility analysis, I have built a Markov model where the cycle length is 4 months. In the CEA results text report, my incremental effectiveness is 3.56 and my ICER is ~$31,000. How would you interpret this to present in a paper? Should I convert it to years?

The intervention provides an additional 3.56 quarter life-years? I assume to convert to years the calculation would be 3.56 x 4/12 = 0.89, so an additional 0.89 life-years? And then to get cost by year: $31000/0.89 = ~$35,000 per LY? 

Your help and recommendations are appreciated!

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  • Official comment

    You can report effectiveness values and incremental effectiveness in any unit. However, people will generally expect results to be reported in QALYs. I recommend you use QALYs, so the values and the ICER are more recognizable to your audience.

    If your cycle is 4 months, it is simple to report model results in QALYs.

    For each utility value accumulated at a health state, adjust it by multiplying it by 4/12, which is explicitly changing your 4-month value to an annual value.

    For example, let's say you have a state called Severe with utility uSevere, change the values entered at that state to uSevere*4/12.

    Then you will accumulate effectiveness with QALYs units for each 4-month cycle.

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