Objective: To value EQ-5D health states by a general Dutch public. EQ-5D is a standardised questionnaire that is used to calculate quality-adjusted life-years for cost-utility analysis.
Method: A sample of 309 Dutch adults from Rotterdam and surroundings was asked to value 17 EQ-5D health states using the time trade-off method. Regression analysis was applied to the valuations of these 17 health states. By means of the estimated regression coefficients, which together constitute the so-called Dutch tariff, valuations can be determined for all possible EQ-5D health states. These values reflect the relative desirability of health states on a scale where 1 refers to full health and 0 refers to death. Societal valuations are necessary in order to correct life-years for the quality of life.
Results: Complete data were obtained from 298 persons. Theywere representative for the Dutch population as far as age, gender and subjective health were concerned, but had a somewhat higher educational level. The estimated Dutch EQ-5D tariff revealed that the respondents assigned the most weight to (preventing) pain and anxiety or depression, followed by mobility, self-care and the activities of daily living. The Dutch tariff differed from the UK ('Measurement and Valuation of Health') tariff, which is currently used in Dutch cost-utility analyses. Compared to UK respondents, Dutch respondents assigned more weight to anxiety and depression and less weight to the other dimensions. Conclusion. The valuation of health states by this representative Dutch study group differed from the valuation that is currently used in Dutch cost-utility analyses.