Quality of Life Research

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 655–663 | Cite as

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



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.


EuroQol General population Health survey Netherlands Socioeconomic factors 



second Dutch National Survey of General Practice




Health Utility Index


Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey


International Quality of Life Assessment


Nottingham Health Profile


Sickness Impact Profile


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. EuroQol, Group 1990EuroQol–a new facility for the measurement of health-related quality of life.Health Policy16199208CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Kind, P, Dolan, P, Gudex, C,  et al. 1998Variations in population health status: Results from a United Kingdom national questionnaire survey.BMJ316736741PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Burström, K, Johannesson, M, Diderichsen, F 2001Swedish population health-related quality of life results using the EQ-5D.Qual Life Res10621635Google Scholar
  4. Johnson, JA, Coons, SJ 1998Comparison of the EQ-5D and SF-12 in an adult US sample.Qual Life Res7155166CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Johnson, JA, Pickard, AS 2000Comparison of the EQ-5D and SF-12 health surveys in a general population survey in Alberta, Canada.Med Care38115121CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Macran, S, Weatherly, H, Kind, P 2003Measuring population health: a comparison of three generic health status measures.Med Care41218231Google Scholar
  7. Insinga, RP, Fryback, DG 2003Understanding differences between self-ratings and population ratings for health in the EuroQol.Qual Life Res12611619Google Scholar
  8. Krabbe, PFM, Stouthard, MEA, Essink-Bot, ML,  et al. 1999The effect of adding a cognitive dimension to the EuroQol multiattribute health-status classification system.J Clin Epidemiol52293301Google Scholar
  9. Stouthard, MEA, Essink-Bot, ML, Bonsel, GJ 2000Disability weights for diseases.A modified protocol and results for a Western European region. Eur J Public Health102430Google Scholar
  10. Westert GP, Schellevis FG, de Bakker DH, et al. Monitoring health inequalities through General Practice: Results from the Second Dutch National Survey of General Practice. Eur J Public Health 2004 (in press).Google Scholar
  11. Brooks, R 1996EuroQol: The current state of play.Health Policy375372CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Dolan, P 1997Modelling valuations for EuroQol health states.Med Care3510951108CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Ware, JE, Sherbourne, CD 1992The MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36)I. Conceptual framework and item selection.Med Care30473483PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Brazier, JE, Harper, R, Jones, NM, O’Cathain, A, Thomas, KJ, Usherwood, T, Westlake, L 1992Validating the SF-36 health survey questionnaire: A new outcome measure for primary care.Br Med J305160164Google Scholar
  15. Aaronson, NK, Muller, M, Cohen, PD, Essink-Bot, ML, Fekkes, M, Sanderman, R, Sprangers, MA, Velde, A, Verrips, E 1998Translation, validation, and norming of the Dutch language version of the SF-36 Health Survey in community and chronic disease populations.J Clin Epidemiol5110551068Google Scholar
  16. Brazier, J, Jones, N, Kind, P 1993Testing the validity of the Euroqol and comparing it with the SF-36 health survey questionnaire.Qual Life Res2169180PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lubetkin, EI, Gold, MR 2003Areas of decrement in health-related quality of life (HRQL): Comparing the SF-12, EQ-5D, and HUI 3.Qual Life Res1210591067Google Scholar
  18. Kopec, JA, Willison, KD 2003A comparative review of four preference-weighted measures of health-related quality of life.J Clin Epidemiol56317325Google Scholar
  19. Reijneveld, SA 1998Reported health, lifestyles, and use of health care of first generation immigrants in The Netherlands: Do socioeconomic factors explain their adverse position?J Epidemiol Community Health52298304PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Goldberg, DP, Lecrubier, Y 1995

    Form and frequency of mental disorders across centres

    Ü, BSartorius, N eds. Mental Illness in General Health Care: An International StudyJohn Wiley & Sons on behalf of WHOChichester323334
    Google Scholar
  21. Rabin, R, Charro, F 2001EQ-5D: A measure of health status from the EuroQol group.Ann Med33337343Google Scholar
  22. Veenhoven, R 1996Happy life expectancy. A comprehensive measure of quality-of-life in nationsSoc Indicators Res39158Google Scholar
  23. Devlin, N, Hansen, P, Herbison, P 2000Variations in self-reported health status: Results from a New Zealand survey.NZ Med J113517520Google Scholar
  24. Elliot, AM, Smith, BH, Penny, KI,  et al. 1999The epidemiology of chronic pain in the community.Lancet35412481252Google Scholar
  25. Chetter, IC, Spark, JI, Dolan, P, Scott, DJA, Kester, RC 1997Quality of life analysis in patients with lower limb ischaemia: suggestions for European standardisation.Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg13597604Google Scholar
  26. Murray, CJL, Lopez, AD 1997Global mortality, disability, and the contribution of risk factors: Global Burden of Disease Study.Lancet34914361442CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Manuel, DG, Schultz, SE 2004Health-related quality of life and health-adjusted life expectancy of people with diabetes in Ontario, Canada, 1996–1997.Diabetes Care27407414Google Scholar
  28. Stephens T, Dulberg C, Joubert N. Mental Health of the Canadian Population: A Comprehensive Analysis. Chronic diseases in Canada. Volume 20, no. 3–2000. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/publicat/cdic-mcc/20-3/c_e.html.Google Scholar
  29. Statline [database online], Voorburg/Heerlen, Statistics Netherlands, 2003: http://www.cbs.nl.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Public Health and the EnvironmentBilthoven
  2. 2.NIVEL, Netherlands Institute of Health Services ResearchUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Public Health Status and ForecastsNational Institute for Public Health and the EnvironmentBilthovenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations