Estimating health utilities in patients with asthma and COPD: evidence on the performance of EQ-5D and SF-6D

Qual Life Res. 2009 Mar;18(2):267-72. doi: 10.1007/s11136-008-9429-z. Epub 2008 Dec 23.


Objective: The objective of this study was to understand systematic differences in utility values derived from the EQ-5D and the SF-6D in two respiratory populations with heterogeneous disease severity.

Methods: This study involved secondary analysis of data from two cross-sectional surveys of patients with asthma (N = 228; Hungary) and COPD (N = 176; Sweden). Disease severity was defined according to GINA and GOLD guidelines for asthma and COPD, respectively. EQ-5D and SF-6D scores and their distributional characteristics were compared across the two samples by disease severity level.

Results: Within each patient population, mean EQ-5D and SF-6D scores were similar for the overall group and for those with moderate disease. Mean scores varied for patients with mild and severe disease. EQ-5D versus SF-6D scores in the asthma group by severity levels were 0.89 versus 0.80, 0.70 versus 0.73, 0.63 versus 0.64, and 0.51 versus 0.63, respectively. EQ-5D versus SF-6D scores in the COPD group by severity levels were 0.85 versus 0.80, 0.73 versus 0.73, 0.74 versus 0.73, and 0.53 versus 0.62, respectively.

Conclusions: Results suggest the EQ-5D and SF-6D do not yield consistent utility values in patients with asthma and COPD due to differences in underlying valuation techniques and the EQ-5D's limited response options relative to mild disease.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires