, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 655-663

The health status of the Dutch population as assessed by the EQ-6D

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This study uses the Six-Dimensional EuroQol instrument (EQ-6D) to describe the health status of the Dutch population and investigates sociodemographic differences. The subjects participated in the second Dutch National Survey of General Practice, which was conducted in 2001. Five percent of all listed patients of 104 practices (99% of the Dutch are listed in a general practice) were invited for a health interview. Analyses were prepared for 9685 respondents aged 18 years or more. The EQ-6D is an extended EQ-5D (mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, anxiety/depression) with a cognitive dimension. The EQ-6D construct validity was examined by comparing it with the SF-36, with good results. Most respondents reported no health problems, while 33% reported pain or discomfort. Women and elderly people generally reported more problems; only depression/anxiety was unrelated to age. Educational level was closely related to problems in all dimensions. The cognitive dimension of the EQ-6D, used for the first time in a general population, gave satisfactory results. This paper includes normative data by age and gender for both the EQ-6D and the EQ-5D. We conclude that the EQ-6D is an efficient tool for establishing the health status in the community, so that different population subgroups can be compared.