Quality of Life Research

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 733–743 | Cite as

Quality of life among hazardous and harmful drinkers: EQ-5D over a 1-year follow-up period

  • Holly N. EssexEmail author
  • Ian R. White
  • Zarnie Khadjesari
  • Stuart Linke
  • Jim McCambridge
  • Elizabeth Murray
  • Steve Parrott
  • Christine Godfrey



To investigate the ability of the EQ-5D to discriminate between levels of alcohol risk in a large sample of hazardous and harmful drinkers, and to explore the relationship between transitions between alcohol risk levels and changes in EQ-5D up to 12 months.


This is a web-based randomised controlled trial evaluating a novel intervention for hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption. EQ-5D scores were compared among groups of drinkers at baseline (low/medium/high risk according to self-reported past week alcohol consumption), and changes in EQ-5D scores were estimated as a function of changes in alcohol consumption level.


Baseline EQ-5D scores were dominated by problems with anxiety/depression, which increased with alcohol risk level, whilst high-risk drinkers also experienced more problems with physical HRQoL dimensions. However, the tool demonstrated a considerable ceiling effect. At follow-up, despite considerable reductions in alcohol consumption across the sample, significant changes in aggregated EQ-5D index scores were only observed for high-risk drinkers at baseline who reduced their drinking, with small improvements (0.04–0.06) compared to those who did not reduce.


Our results suggest that the three-option EQ-5D may not be an optimal primary end point for measuring clinical and cost-effectiveness in randomised controlled trials of interventions among hazardous and harmful alcohol users, although further testing of the sensitivity of the tool in these populations is needed.


EQ-5D EuroQoL Quality of life Alcohol Hazardous drinking Harmful drinking Internet 



This study was funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative, which includes the following funding partners: British Heart Foundation; Cancer Research UK; Department of Health; Diabetes UK; Economic and Social Research Council; Medical Research Council; Research and Development Office for the Northern Ireland Health and Social Services; Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Executive Health Department; and the Welsh Assembly Government. IRW was supported by the Medical Research Council (Unit Programme Number U105260558). J.M. was supported by a Wellcome Trust award in Basic Biomedical Science (WT086516MA).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holly N. Essex
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ian R. White
    • 2
  • Zarnie Khadjesari
    • 3
  • Stuart Linke
    • 3
  • Jim McCambridge
    • 4
  • Elizabeth Murray
    • 3
  • Steve Parrott
    • 1
  • Christine Godfrey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.MRC Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public HealthUniversity Forvie SiteCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health, e-Health Unit, Royal Free HospitalUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Social and Environmental Health ResearchLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK

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