Purpose: To estimate Swedish experience-based value sets for EQ-5D health states using general population health survey data.
Methods: Approximately 45,000 individuals valued their current health status by means of time trade off (TTO) and visual analogue scale (VAS) methods and answered the EQ-5D questionnaire, making it possible to model the association between the experience-based TTO and VAS values and the EQ-5D dimensions and severity levels. The association between TTO and VAS values and the different severity levels of respondents' answers on a self-rated health (SRH) question was assessed.
Results: Almost all dimensions (except usual activity) and severity levels had less impact on TTO valuations compared with the UK study based on hypothetical values. Anxiety/depression had the greatest impact on both TTO and VAS values. TTO and VAS values were consistently related to SRH. The inclusion of age, sex, education and socioeconomic group affected the main effect coefficients and the explanatory power modestly.
Conclusions: A value set for EQ-5D health states based on Swedish valuations has been lacking. Several authors have recently advocated the normative standpoint of using experience-based values. Guidelines of economic evaluation for reimbursement decisions in Sweden recommend the use of experience-based values for QALY calculations. Our results that anxiety/depression had the greatest impact on both TTO and VAS values underline the importance of mental health for individuals' overall HRQoL. Using population surveys is in line with recent thinking on valuing health states and could reduce some of the focusing effects potentially appearing in hypothetical valuation studies.