Does the EQ-5D capture the concerns measured by the Palliative care Outcome Scale? Mapping the Palliative care Outcome Scale onto the EQ-5D using statistical methods

Palliat Med. 2017 Sep;31(8):716-725. doi: 10.1177/0269216317705608. Epub 2017 Apr 24.


Background: The main measure to generate utility data for economic evaluations is the EQ-5D, but no study has tested whether or how to map from palliative care measures to the EQ-5D.

Aims: To assess the level of conceptual overlap between palliative outcomes and the EQ-5D, and the feasibility of mapping between them to obtain utilities for the Palliative care Outcome Scale.

Design: A cross-sectional secondary analysis of data from three studies.

Setting/participants: Patients receiving palliative care and bereaved relatives, recruited from three tertiary National Health Service hospitals in South London.

Methods: The overlap between both measures was assessed using principal component analysis. The Palliative care Outcome Scale was mapped onto the EQ-5D using three regression models.

Results: Spearman's correlations between both instruments were low (mean rho = 0.11). The principal component analysis showed the Palliative care Outcome Scale is associated with only two EQ-5D dimensions (pain; and anxiety/depression). No Palliative care Outcome Scale items loaded onto the mobility, self-care and usual activities dimensions of the EQ-5D. The mapping models performed poorly at predicting utilities from Palliative care Outcome Scale data (mean absolute error >0.3 and R2 <0.10). Hence, none of the models can be recommended as acceptable for calculating utilities from Palliative care Outcome Scale responses.

Conclusion: Differences between the Palliative care Outcome Scale and the EQ-5D do not undermine the qualities of either instrument when used for their own purposes. However, due to conceptual differences, the EQ-5D does not capture some of the concerns measured by the Palliative care Outcome Scale, and therefore, mapping onto the EQ-5D is unlikely to provide an appropriate basis for estimating utilities for conducting economic evaluations in palliative care studies.

Keywords: EQ-5D; health-state utility; modelling; palliative care outcome scale; patient-reported outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Palliative Care / psychology*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*