The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 15–23 | Cite as

SF-6D versus EQ-5D: reasons for differences in utility scores and impact on reported cost-utility

Original paper


The choice of instrument (e.g. EQ-5D vs. SF-6D) can lead to different health-related utility scores, but it is unclear why these differences arise and whether they change cost utility analysis (CUA) results. This paper addresses these issues using a case study where using SF-6D rather EQ-5D led to greater utility gain and a lower cost per QALY for treatment. The paper examines reasons for this difference. This paper finds that an important factor was the inclusion in the SF-6D descriptive system of separate items for “vitality” and “social functioning”, not explicitly included in EQ-5D. Further studies are required that examine the impact of the choice of instrument on cost-utility.


Cost-utility EQ-5D SF-6D Health utilities 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Grieve
    • 1
  • Marina Grishchenko
    • 1
  • John Cairns
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Services Research UnitLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK

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