Quality of Life Research

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 791–799 | Cite as

Health-related quality of life and healthcare utilization in multimorbidity: results of a cross-sectional survey

  • Calypse B. Agborsangaya
  • Darren Lau
  • Markus Lahtinen
  • Tim Cooke
  • Jeffrey A. JohnsonEmail author



We assessed the associations between multimorbidity and health-related quality of life (HRQL), and healthcare utilization, based on 16 common self-reported chronic conditions.


A cross-sectional questionnaire survey including the EQ-5D was conducted in a sample of the general population of adults (≥18 years) living in Alberta, Canada. Multiple linear and logistic regressions were used to assess the association between multiple chronic conditions and HRQL, hospitalization and emergency department (ED) use.


A total of 4,946 respondents reported their HRQL, noting problems mostly with pain or discomfort (48.0 %). All chronic conditions were associated with a clinically important reduction in HRQL, the highest burden with anxiety or depression (−0.19, 95 % CI −0.21, −0.16) and chronic pain (−0.19, 95 % CI −0.21, −0.17). Multimorbidity was associated with a clinically important reduction in the EQ-5D index score (−0.12, 95 % CI −0.14, −0.11) and twice the likelihood of being hospitalized (OR = 2.2, 95 % CI 1.7, 2.9) or having an ED visit (OR = 1.8, 95 % CI 1.4, 2.2).


Pain or discomfort is a common problem in people living with chronic conditions, and the existence of multimorbidity in these individuals is associated with a reduction in the HRQL as well as frequent hospitalization and emergency department visits.


Chronic conditions Multimorbidity Quality of life Hospitalization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Calypse B. Agborsangaya
    • 1
  • Darren Lau
    • 1
  • Markus Lahtinen
    • 2
  • Tim Cooke
    • 2
  • Jeffrey A. Johnson
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Public Health Sciences, 2-040 Li Ka Shing Center for Health Research and InnovationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Health Quality Council of AlbertaCalgaryCanada

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