Health utilities using the EQ-5D in studies of cancer

Pharmacoeconomics. 2007;25(5):365-84. doi: 10.2165/00019053-200725050-00002.


Cancer is one of the most frequent disease-specific applications of the EQ-5D. The objective of this review was to summarise evidence to support the validity and reliability of the EQ-5D in cancer, and to provide a catalogue of utility scores based on the use of the EQ-5D in clinical trials and in studies of patients with cancer. A structured literature search was conducted in EMBASE and MEDLINE to identify papers using key words related to cancer and the EQ-5D. Original research studies of patients with cancer that reported EQ-5D psychometric properties, responses and/or summary scores were included. Of 57 identified articles, 34 were selected for inclusion, where 12 studies reported evidence of validity or reliability and 31 reported EQ-5D responses or summary scores. The majority of investigations using the EQ-5D concerned patients with prostate cancer (n = 4), breast cancer (n = 4), cancers of the digestive system (n = 7) and Hodgkin and/or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 3). Mean index-based scores ranged from 0.33 (SD 0.4) to 0.93 (SD 0.12) and visual analogue scale scores ranged from 43 (SD 13.3) to 84 (SD 12.0) across subtypes of cancer. A substantial and growing body of literature using the EQ-5D in cancer that supports the validity and reliability of EQ-5D in cancer has emerged. This review provides utility estimates for cancer patients across a wide range of cancer subtypes, treatment regimens and tumour stage(s) that may inform the modelling of outcomes in economic evaluations of cancer treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*