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Med Care. 2000 Jan;38(1):115-21.

Comparison of the EQ-5D and SF-12 health surveys in a general population survey in Alberta, Canada.

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Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, and the Institute of Health Economics, Edmonton, Canada.



The purposes of this analysis were to evaluate the construct validity of the EQ-5D and compare responses on the EQ-5D with the Physical Component Summary (PCS-12) and Mental Component Summary (MCS-12) scores of the SF-12 Health Survey.


Data were collected via a survey instrument mailed to 4,200 randomly selected subjects in the province of Alberta, Canada. The instrument contained the EQ-5D and SF-12 health surveys, with additional questions eliciting clinical and demographic information from the respondents.


1,555 respondents returned mailed questionnaires; 606 questionnaires were returned undeliverable. The SF-12 summary scores were calculated for 1,380 respondents. Analysis of the EQ-5D responses by demographic variables found significant differences among categories of age, gender, and self-reported chronic medical conditions. Corresponding dimensions and summary scores were more strongly related (eg, mobility and PCS-12; F ratio = 598.3, P < 0.001) than dissimilar dimensions (eg, mobility and MCS-12; F ratio = 18.8, P < 0.001). The EQ-5D index scores were moderately correlated with SF-12 summary scores (r = 0.41 for MCS-12 and r = 0.68 for PCS-12). For subjects reporting no problems on the EQ-5D, PCS-12 and MCS-12 scores were significantly lower for people reporting medical problems or feelings of depression.


The results of this investigation generally supported the validity of the EQ-5D. However, an important ceiling effect was observed for the EQ-5D in this sample. The combination of the EQ-5D and SF-12 provides relatively broad coverage of important health domains and scores for various purposes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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