Quality of Life Research

, 18:1249 | Cite as

The classification systems of the EQ-5D, the HUI II and the SF-6D: what do they have in common?

  • Uwe Konerding
  • Jörn Moock
  • Thomas Kohlmann



EQ-5D, HUI II and SF-6D often produce very different valuations for the same health state. This paper aims at clarifying to what extent this might be caused by differences between the multi-attribute classification systems belonging to these instruments.


Subjects were 264 patients of rehabilitation clinics in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (44.3% female; mean age 49.1) who completed the EQ-5D, the HUI II and the SF-36 (the basis of the SF-6D). After scaling with principal component analyses for categorical data, each attribute of each classification system was regressed on the classification systems of the other two instruments, and all attributes together were subjected to ordinary principal component analysis with varimax rotation.


Adjusted multiple R 2 for regression analyses ranged from 0.01 to 0.57. The HUI II attribute ‘sensation’ and the SF-6D attribute ‘role limitation’ are virtually unrelated to the remainder. All other attributes of all three instruments can be predicted by each other. EQ-5D and HUI II focus distinctly more on physical functioning than SF-6D.


Although all three classification systems have a lot in common, they differ so much that EQ-5D, HUI II and SF-6D would produce different valuations even if these valuations were determined according to the same principle.


Quality of life Measurement Classification Health 



Euro-Qol 5 Dimensions


Health-Related Quality of Life


Health Utility Index


Health Utility Index, Mark II


Health Utility Index, Mark III


Principal Component Analysis for Categorical Data


Principal Component Analysis for Categorical Data


Adjusted squared multiple correlation coefficient


Standardised estimated quantification


Standardised estimated quantifications


Short Form 36 items


Short Form 6 Dimensions


Statistical Package for the Social Sciences

SPSS 15.0

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, Version 15.0



This project was funded by a grant (no. 01GD0106) from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the North German Network for Rehabilitation Research (NVRF). The analyses presented here were financially supported by an additional grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant no. 01ZZ0403). We would like to thank Kathrin Bezold for her support in performing the study, three anonymous reviewers for critically discussing a former version of the manuscript, and Peter Bereza for correcting our English.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trimberg Research AcademyUniversity of BambergBambergGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Community MedicineUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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