Background: Information on health related quality of life (HR-QOL) can be integrated with other classical health status indicators and be used to assist policy makers in resource allocation decisions. For this reason instruments such as the SF-12 and EQ-5D have been widely proposed as assessment tools to monitor changes in HR-QOL in general populations and very recently in general practice settings as well
Aim: The primary goal of our study was to assess the construct validity of the Italian version of the EQ-5D in a general population of North Italy using socio-demographic factors and diagnostic sub-groups. Our secondary goal was to assess the concurrent validity of the EQ-5D and SF-12.
Methods: The SF-12, the EQ-5D plus an additional questionnaire on socio-demographic characteristics, clinical conditions and symptoms were completed by 1,622 adults, randomly selected from the Registry of the Health Authorities of the city of Bologna, Italy. The primary care physician of each subject was contacted to report on the subject's health status.
Results: Our findings indicate that the Italian version of the EQ-5D is well accepted by the general population (91% response rate), has good reliability (Cronbach's alpha 0.73), and shows evidence of construct validity.
Conclusion: Our data provide a basis for further research to be conducted to assess the validity of the EQ-5D in Italy. In particular future studies should focus on assessing its ability to detect a clinically important change in health related quality of life over time (responsiveness).