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Med Decis Making. 2006 Jul-Aug;26(4):391-400.

Report of nationally representative values for the noninstitutionalized US adult population for 7 health-related quality-of-life scores.

Author information

  • 1Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 644 WARF, 610 Walnut St., Madison, WI 53726, USA. jehanmer@wisc.edu



Despite widespread use of generic health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) scores, few have publicly published nationally representative US values.


To create current nationally representative values for 7 of the most common HRQoL scores, stratified by age and sex.


The authors used data from the 2001 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) and the 2001 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), nationally representative surveys of the US noninstitutionalized civilian population: The MEPS was used to calculate 6 HRQoL scores: categorical self-rated health, EuroQoL-5D with US scoring, EuroQoL-5D with UK scoring, EuroQol Visual Analog Scale, mental and physical component summaries from the SF-12, and the SF-6D. The authors estimated Quality of Well-being scale scores from the NHIS.


They included 22,523 subjects from MEPS 2001 and 32,472 subjects from NHIS 2001. Most age and sex categories had instrument completion rates above 85%. Females reported lower scores than males across all ages and instruments. In general, those in older age groups reported lower scores than younger age groups, with the exception of the mental component summary from the SF-12.


This is one of the first sets of publicly available, nationally representative US values for any standardized HRQoL measure. These values are important for use in both generalized comparisons of health status and in cost-effectiveness analyses.

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