Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 447–454 | Cite as

Evidence on the longitudinal construct validity of major generic and utility measures of health-related quality of life in teens with depression

  • John F. DickersonEmail author
  • David H. Feeny
  • Gregory N. Clarke
  • Alex L. MacMillan
  • Frances L. Lynch



To examine the longitudinal construct validity in the assessment of changes in depressive symptoms of widely used utility and generic HRQL instruments in teens.


392 teens enrolled in the study and completed HRQL and diagnostic measures as part of the baseline interview. HRQL measures included EuroQol (EQ-5D-3L), Health Utilities Index Mark 2 (HUI2) and Mark 3 (HUI3), Quality of Well-Being Scale (QWB), Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PEDS-QL), RAND-36 (SF-6D), and Quality of Life in Depression Scale (QLDS). Youth completed follow-up interviews 12 weeks after baseline. Sixteen youth (4.1%) were lost to follow-up. We examined correlations between changes in HRQL instruments and the Children’s Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) and assessed clinically meaningful change in multi-attribute utility HRQL measures using mean change (MC) and standardized response mean (SRM) among youth showing at least moderate (20%) improvement in depression symptomology.


Spearman’s correlation coefficients demonstrated moderate correlation between changes in CDRS-R and the HUI2 (r = 0.38), HUI3 (r = 0.42), EQ-5D-3L (r = 0.36), SF-6D (r = 0.39), and PEDS-QL (r = 0.39) and strong correlation between changes in CDRS-R and QWB (r = 0.52) and QLDS (r = − 0.71). Effect size results are also reported. Among multi-attribute utility measures, all showed clinically meaningful improvements in the sample of youth with depression improvement (HUI2, MC = 0.20, SRM = 0.97; HUI3, MC = 0.32, SRM = 1.17; EQ-5D-3L, MC = 0.08, SRM = 0.51; QWB, MC = 0.11, SRM = 0.86; and SF-6D, MC = 0.12, SRM = 1.02).


Findings support the longitudinal construct validity of included HRQL instruments for the assessment of change in depression outcomes in teens. Results of this study can help inform researchers about viable instruments to include in economic evaluations for this population.


Longitudinal construct validity Health-related quality of life Teens Depression 



We thank Jill Pope for editorial support, and Allison Bonifay, Sue Leung, and Jeff Jensen for management and conduct of participant interviews.


The funding was provided by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Grant No. R01-HS017720).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

It should be noted that David H. Feeny has a proprietary interest in Health Utilities Incorporated, Dundas, Ontario, Canada. HUI Inc. Distributes copyrighted Health Utilities Index (HUI) materials and provides methodological advice on the use of the HUI. No other authors have any conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • John F. Dickerson
    • 1
    Email author
  • David H. Feeny
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gregory N. Clarke
    • 1
  • Alex L. MacMillan
    • 4
  • Frances L. Lynch
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Health Research - Kaiser PermanentePortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Health Utilities IncorporatedDundasCanada
  4. 4.ThinkShout, IncPortlandUSA

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