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Open Access Research

Sensitivity as outcome measure of androgen replacement: the AMS scale

Lothar A Heinemann1*, Claudia Moore2, Juergen C Dinger1 and Diana Stoehr3

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Epidemiology & Health Research Berlin, Invalidenstr. 115, 10115 Berlin, Germany

2 Jenapharm, Medical Affairs Andrology, Otto-Schott-Str. 15, 07745 Jena, Germany

3 University of Wuerzburg, Chair of Statistics, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2006, 4:23  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-4-23

Published: 30 March 2006

Abstract

Background

The capacity of the AMS scale as clinical utility and as outcome measure still needs validation.

Methods

An open post-marketing study was performed by office-based physicians in Germany in 2004. We analysed data of 1670 androgen-deficient males who were treated with testosterone gel. The AMS scale was applied prior to and after 3 months treatment.

Results

The improvement of complaints under treatment relative to the baseline score was 30.7% (total score), 27.3% (psychological domain), 30.5% (somatic domain), and 30.7% (sexual domain), respectively. Patients with little or no symptoms before therapy improved by 9%, those with mild complaints at entry by 24%, with moderate by 32%, and with severe symptoms by 39% – compared with the baseline score. We showed that the distribution of complaints of testosterone deficient men before therapy almost returned to norm values after 12 weeks of testosterone treatment. Age, BMI, and total testosterone level at baseline did not modify the positive effect of androgen therapy. We also demonstrated that the AMS results can predict the independent (physician's) opinion about the individual treatment effect. Both, sensitivity (correct prediction of a positive assessment by the physician) and specificity (correct prediction of a negative assessment by the physician) were over 70%, if about 22% improvement of the AMS total score was used as cut-off point.

Conclusion

The AMS scale showed a convincing ability to measure treatment effects on quality of life across the full range of severity of complaints. Effect modification by other variables at baseline was not observed. In addition, results of the scale can predict the subjective clinical expert opinion on the treatment efficiency.