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Valuation of EQ-5D

An EQ-5D health state is the set of responses to the 5 dimensions of EQ-5D, as completed by a patient or respondent. For instance, a fairly healthy person may have an EQ-5D health state of 1-2-1-1-1. To convert an individual EQ-5D health state to a single summary index a value set is required.

Valuation research aims to measure people’s preferences with respect to health or, in other words, how health is valued. This involves the participation of a representative sample of people from the general population in a standardized valuation experiment. In the experiment, participants are asked to value health by reviewing EQ-5D health states. The result from the valuation study is a value set for that country/region. This is essentially a set of weights for each of the levels in the five EQ-5D dimensions. A large weight means that people in that country/region believe that a particular level of severity has a large impact on health-related quality of life. Using the set of weights, one can convert each EQ-5D health state into a single summary index value.

The EuroQol Group is actively involved in valuation research projects around the world. Various methods are being tested for the conversion of health states into a single index value. For the 5-level version of EQ-5D, a standardized experiment has been developed called EQ-VT. Since its inception, more than 30 value set studies have been started, please see the EQ-5D-5L Valuation: Standard Value Sets for more details. An international valuation protocol for the youth version of the instrument, EQ-5D-Y, was released in 2020. EQ-5D-Y value sets have already begun to be published and more than a dozen valuation studies are in development. Valuation research also continues to be published on the original 3-level version of EQ-5D, the EQ-5D-3L.

If you want more information on the valuation of EQ-5D, or if you seek permission or advice to conduct an EQ-5D valuation study, please contact the Executive Director.


Crosswalk mapping

If a value set for your preferred adult EQ-5D version (5L or 3L) is not available for your country/region but a value set for a different EQ-5D version is available, then a “crosswalk” mapping function can be used to derive utility values. The mapping function links EQ-5D descriptive system responses to the available value set.

EuroQol researchers have developed crosswalk functions to:

The Van Hout (2012, 2021) crosswalks are based on international datasets, with mapping between response options, and can therefore be implemented with any EQ-5D value set.

Please note that in the UK, as an interim measure whilst a new UK EQ-5D-5L value set is being developed, a different mapping function is recommended for use in submissions to NICE (see EQ-5D-5L valuation webpage) for more information.

Analysis tools

A wide range of value set calculators and cross-walk mappings to obtain EQ-5D-5L health state utility values are available here

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