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A comparison of the EQ-5D and SF-6D across seven patient groups


  • John Brazier

    (Sheffield Health Economics Group, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

  • Jennifer Roberts

    (Sheffield Health Economics Group, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

  • Aki Tsuchiya
  • Jan Busschbach


As the number of preference-based instruments grows, it becomes increasingly important to compare different preference-based measures of health in order to inform an important debate on the choice of instrument. This paper presents a comparison of two of them, the EQ-5D and the SF-6D (recently developed from the SF-36) across seven patient|population groups (chronic obstructive airways disease, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, lower back pain, leg ulcers, post menopausal women and elderly). The mean SF-6D index value was found to exceed the EQ-5D by 0.045 and the intraclass correlation coefficient between them was 0.51. Whilst this convergence lends some support for the validity of these measures, the modest difference at the aggregate level masks more significant differences in agreement across the patient groups and over severity of illness, with the SF-6D having a smaller range and lower variance in values. There is evidence for floor effects in the SF-6D and ceiling effects in the EQ-5D. These discrepancies arise from differences in their health state classifications and the methods used to value them. Further research is required to fully understand the respective roles of the descriptive systems and the valuation methods and to examine the implications for estimates of the impact of health care interventions. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • John Brazier & Jennifer Roberts & Aki Tsuchiya & Jan Busschbach, 2004. "A comparison of the EQ-5D and SF-6D across seven patient groups," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 873-884.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:9:p:873-884
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.866

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brazier, John & Roberts, Jennifer & Deverill, Mark, 2002. "The estimation of a preference-based measure of health from the SF-36," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 271-292, March.
    2. Bleichrodt, Han, 2001. "Probability Weighting in Choice under Risk: An Empirical Test," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 185-198, September.
    3. John Brazier & Mark Deverill, 1999. "A checklist for judging preference-based measures of health related quality of life: Learning from psychometrics," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 41-51.
    4. Aki Tsuchiya & Shunya Ikeda & Naoki Ikegami & Shuzo Nishimura & Ikuro Sakai & Takashi Fukuda & Chisato Hamashima & Akinori Hisashige & Makoto Tamura, 2002. "Estimating an EQ-5D population value set: the case of Japan," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 341-353.
    5. Tsuchiya, Aki & Brazier, John & Roberts, Jennifer, 2006. "Comparison of valuation methods used to generate the EQ-5D and the SF-6D value sets," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 334-346, March.
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