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EQ-5D is a widely used instrument to measure health-related quality of life. It consists of a descriptive system and a visual analogue scale (VAS). The descriptive system assesses health across five dimensions: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. Each dimension has three levels: no problems, some problems, and extreme problems.

The EQ-5D utility score is calculated by assigning a weight to each level of the five dimensions, based on the preferences of a representative sample of the general population. The weights are also known as preference or tariff values. The scores range from -0.59 (worst health state) to 1.0 (perfect health state).

Here is an example to illustrate the calculation of EQ-5D utility scores:

Suppose a patient reports the following health state:

  • Mobility: some problems
  • Self-care: no problems
  • Usual activities: no problems
  • Pain/discomfort: extreme problems
  • Anxiety/depression: some problems

The EQ-5D health state can be represented as 21121, with the first digit corresponding to mobility, the second to self-care, and so on.

The next step is to apply the appropriate weight or tariff value to each level of the five dimensions. Using the UK general population weights, the tariff values for this health state are:

  • Mobility: 0.80
  • Self-care: 1.00
  • Usual activities: 1.00
  • Pain/discomfort: 0.24
  • Anxiety/depression: 0.56

The utility score for this health state is then calculated by summing the product of each level and its corresponding tariff value, as follows:

0.80 x 1.00 x 1.00 x 0.24 x 0.56 = 0.080

Therefore, the EQ-5D utility score for this health state is 0.080.

Another example:

Suppose another patient reports the following health state:

  • Mobility: no problems
  • Self-care: no problems
  • Usual activities: some problems
  • Pain/discomfort: some problems
  • Anxiety/depression: extreme problems

The EQ-5D health state can be represented as 11223.

Using the UK general population weights, the tariff values for this health state are:

  • Mobility: 1.00
  • Self-care: 1.00
  • Usual activities: 0.69
  • Pain/discomfort: 0.45
  • Anxiety/depression: 0.09

The utility score for this health state is calculated as follows:

1.00 x 1.00 x 0.69 x 0.45 x 0.09 = 0.026

Therefore, the EQ-5D utility score for this health state is 0.026

Calculating EQ-5D Utility Scores for India

To calculate EQ-5D utility scores for India, you would need to use the Indian-specific tariff values. The EQ-5D-3L questionnaire has been used in India and the preference weights have been obtained using the time trade-off (TTO) method.

The Indian-specific tariff values for the EQ-5D-3L health states are as follows:

Mobility: no problems = 1.000, some problems = 0.849, severe problems = 0.472
Self-care: no problems = 1.000, some problems = 0.909, severe problems = 0.535
Usual activities: no problems = 1.000, some problems = 0.844, severe problems = 0.362
Pain/discomfort: no pain/discomfort = 1.000, some pain/discomfort = 0.757, severe pain/discomfort = 0.388
Anxiety/depression: not anxious/depressed = 1.000, moderately anxious/depressed = 0.765, extremely anxious/depressed = 0.367

To calculate the EQ-5D utility score for a particular health state, you would follow the same steps as described in the previous answer, but use the Indian-specific tariff values instead. For example, if a patient reports a health state of 21121, you would use the Indian-specific tariff values to calculate the utility score.
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