EQ-5D concepts and methods: A developmental history

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The EuroQol Instrument

  • Alan WilliamsAffiliated withCentre for Health Economics, University of York

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The raison d’être of the EuroQol Instrument is to provide a simple “abstracting” device, for use alongside other more detailed measures of health-related quality of life (henceforth HRQoL), to serve as a basis for comparing health care outcomes using a basic “common core” of QoL characteristics which most people are known to value highly. From the outset it was accepted that for such comparisons to be useful it would be necessary to go beyond generating such information in the form of a “profile” (though the EuroQol data can be used in that way too), and therefore the issue of the relative valuation of different health states had to be confronted. It was further recognised that such information would be extremely valuable in a QALY-type context, but for that purpose it would be necessary to include a valuation for the state of being dead, otherwise it would be impossible to establish a cardinal index scale in which “dead” = 0 and “healthy” = 1, a property that is required for QALY-type calculations.