A single European currency for EQ-5D health states

Results from a six-country study
  • Wolfgang GreinerEmail author
  • Tom Weijnen
  • Martin Nieuwenhuizen
  • Siem Oppe
  • Xavier Badia
  • Jan Busschbach
  • Martin Buxton
  • Paul Dolan
  • Paul Kind
  • Paul Krabbe
  • Arto Ohinmaa
  • David Parkin
  • Montserat Roset
  • Harri Sintonen
  • Aki Tsuchiya
  • Frank de Charro
Original papers


The EQ-5D questionnaire is a widely used generic instrument for describing and valuing health that was developed by the EuroQol Group. A primary objective of the EuroQol Group is the investigation of values for health states in the general population in different countries. As part of the EuroQol enterprise 11 population surveys were carried out in six Western European countries (Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK) to value health states as defined by the EQ-5D using a standardised visual analogue scale (EQ-5D VAS). This contribution reports how a European set of general population preference weights was derived from the data collected in the 11 valuation studies. The scores from this set of preference weights can be applied to generate a VAS-based weighted health status index for all the potential 243 EQ-5D health states for use in multi-national studies. To estimate the preference weights a multi-level regression analysis was performed on 82,910 valuations of 44 EQ-5D health states elicited from 6,870 respondents. Stable and plausible solutions were found for the model parameters. The R 2 value was 75%. The analysis showed that the major source of variance, apart from 'random error', was variance between individuals (28.3% of the total residual variance). These results suggest that VAS values for EQ-5D health states in six Western European countries can be described by a common model.


Quality of life EQ-5D Health status index Visual analogue scale 



This research, performed on data collected previously, was supported by a grant from the European Community: Biomed II programme PL 963118, Concerted Action. The authors acknowledge the contributions of the participants of the Biomed EQ-net project, whose effort and expertise made it possible to produce this paper. We particularly thank Stefan Björk (Novo Nordisk A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark), Marie-Louise Essink-Bot (Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands) and Idoia Gaminde (Departamento de Salud, Gobierno de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain) for providing data. We also thank Rosalind Rabin who edited the English. Earlier versions of this manuscript were presented at the Biomed EQ-net scientific meetings.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Greiner
    • 1
    • 13
    Email author
  • Tom Weijnen
    • 2
  • Martin Nieuwenhuizen
    • 2
  • Siem Oppe
    • 2
  • Xavier Badia
    • 3
  • Jan Busschbach
    • 4
  • Martin Buxton
    • 5
  • Paul Dolan
    • 6
  • Paul Kind
    • 7
  • Paul Krabbe
    • 8
  • Arto Ohinmaa
    • 9
  • David Parkin
    • 10
  • Montserat Roset
    • 3
  • Harri Sintonen
    • 11
  • Aki Tsuchiya
    • 12
  • Frank de Charro
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für VersicherungsbetriebslehreUniversity of HanoverGermany
  2. 2.Centre for Health Policy and LawErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Health Outcomes Research GroupBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Medical Psychology and PsychotherapyErasmus MCThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Health Economics Research GroupBrunel UniversityUxbridgeUK
  6. 6.ScHARRUniversity of SheffieldUK
  7. 7.Outcomes Research Group, Centre for Health EconomicsYork UniversityUK
  8. 8.Department of Medical Technology AssessmentUniversity Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  9. 9.Department of Public HealthUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  10. 10.Department of EconomicsCity UniversityLondonUK
  11. 11.Department of Public HealthUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  12. 12.SHEG, ScHARRUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  13. 13.Institut für VersicherungsbetriebslehreUniversität HannoverHanoverGermany

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