Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important aspect of adaptation after burn. The EQ-5D is a standardized generic instrument for assessing HRQoL. Its psychometric properties in a group of burn injured individuals are, however, not known.
Methods: Seventy-eight consecutive patients admitted to a burn unit were included in a prospective longitudinal study. The participants completed the EQ-5D during acute care, and at 3, 6, and 12 months after the burn. At 6 and 12 months after the burn they also completed the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) and the Burn Specific Health Scale-Brief (BSHS-B).
Results: High feasibility of the EQ-5D was demonstrated through a high response rate and a low proportion of missing or invalid answers. The floor and ceiling effects were small. Construct validity was demonstrated through good differentiation between health states and good discrimination of health states over time. The EQ-5D was associated with burn severity and discriminated between clinical subgroups in an expected manner. Criterion validity was demonstrated through significant correlations between the EQ-5D and subscales of the SF-36 and the BSHS-B.
Conclusions: The EQ-5D has good psychometric properties, it is short and easy to administer and thus useful in assessment of HRQoL after burn.