Quality of Life Research

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 1145–1154 | Cite as

Preliminary findings of an investigation into the relationship between national culture and EQ-5D value sets

Article

Abstract

Background

Despite the growing importance of the EQ-5D descriptive system as a basis for the valuation of QALYs in cost-utility analysis, for most countries, there are no EQ-5D value sets. Researchers and policy makers wishing to use the EQ-5D descriptive system in a country for which there is no value set are advised to use one from a nearby or ‘similar’ population. Factors other than geographic proximity can affect the relative values of EQ-5D states.

Objective

This study explores the links between national culture and EQ-5D value sets.

Method

Rank correlation analysis is used to explore relationships between the relative values of a set of EQ-5D states and dimensions of national culture. The latter are taken from Hofstede’s framework which operationalizes national culture in five dimensions.

Results

For the data currently available (countries for which EQ-5D value sets and scores on dimensions of culture both exist), moderate and strong correlations were found between the culture dimension of power distance and individualism and the EQ-5D dimensions of pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. Moderate correlations were also observed between the cultural dimension of masculinity and the EQ-5D dimensions of self care, usual activities and pain/discomfort. Uncertainty avoidance correlates with the EQ-5D dimension of anxiety/depression.

Discussion

The correlation patterns observed are generally consistent with a priori expectations based on the nature of the dimensions of culture and the EQ-5D model. This analysis demonstrates the potential of national culture in providing insight into the drivers of the relative values of EQ-5D dimensions for different countries and in informing decisions about which EQ-5D value sets to use in situations where one does not exist.

Keywords

EQ-5D National culture 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of the West IndiesSt. Augustine CampusTrinidad and Tobago
  2. 2.The University of YorkYorkUK

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