Brief Communication

Quality of Life Research

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 267-272

First online:

Estimating health utilities in patients with asthma and COPD: evidence on the performance of EQ-5D and SF-6D

  • A. SzendeAffiliated withCovance Market Access Services Inc. Email author 
  • , N. K. LeidyAffiliated withUnited Biosource Corporation
  • , E. StåhlAffiliated withAstraZeneca R&DUniversity of Aberdeen
  • , K. SvenssonAffiliated withHEORConsulting

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The objective of this study was to understand systematic differences in utility values derived from the EQ-5D and the SF-6D in two respiratory populations with heterogeneous disease severity.


This study involved secondary analysis of data from two cross-sectional surveys of patients with asthma (N = 228; Hungary) and COPD (N = 176; Sweden). Disease severity was defined according to GINA and GOLD guidelines for asthma and COPD, respectively. EQ-5D and SF-6D scores and their distributional characteristics were compared across the two samples by disease severity level.


Within each patient population, mean EQ-5D and SF-6D scores were similar for the overall group and for those with moderate disease. Mean scores varied for patients with mild and severe disease. EQ-5D versus SF-6D scores in the asthma group by severity levels were 0.89 versus 0.80, 0.70 versus 0.73, 0.63 versus 0.64, and 0.51 versus 0.63, respectively. EQ-5D versus SF-6D scores in the COPD group by severity levels were 0.85 versus 0.80, 0.73 versus 0.73, 0.74 versus 0.73, and 0.53 versus 0.62, respectively.


Results suggest the EQ-5D and SF-6D do not yield consistent utility values in patients with asthma and COPD due to differences in underlying valuation techniques and the EQ-5D’s limited response options relative to mild disease.


Asthma Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) EQ-5D Health utilities SF-6D