Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 209–221 | Cite as

Reliability and Validity of EQ-5D in Malaysian Population

  • Shanthi Varatharajan
  • Won-Sun Chen


This cross-sectional study, involving conveniently chosen respondents in the Klang Valley area, was designed to answer the question “Can EQ-5D be used as a QOL instrument in the National Health Morbidity Survey in Malaysia?”. The chosen versions (Malay, Tamil, and Mandarin) of the translated EQ-5D were tested for their reliability and validity. After a written consent was obtained from each respondent, a standardized questionnaire for self-completion was given. It took an average of 10–15 min to complete the questionnaire. Each respondent who returned the completed questionnaire was approached again with an identical copy of the questionnaire to assess the test-retest reliability after a 2-week interval. Reliability was assessed by analyzing the study instrument’s test-retest reliability, while a predictive validity was used to investigate the predictive strength of a composite index of the five factors of EQ-5D (mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression) on the overall perceived health (EQ VAS). An intraclass correlation (ICC), generated based on a single rate using the one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) model, was used to evaluate the test-retest reliability (Streiner and Norman 1995), while spearman rank correlation coefficient was used to quantify the predictive strength of a composite index of the five factors of EQ-5D on the overall perceived health (EQ VAS) (Elmes et al. 2006). It was surprising to note 1–2 folds increase in the reported cases for pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression, the same trend was observed across different versions of EQ-5D. The ICC values were found to be in the range of <0.01 to 0.92, while 0.61–0.86 were the range for the spearman rank correlation coefficient value. The findings in this study demonstrated the EQ-5D questionnaires translated by the EuroQOL Group had reasonable test-retest reliability and predictive validity results. With these results, it is hoped that these instruments will be incorporated into future National Health Morbidity Survey in Malaysia.


EQ-5D Malaysia Reliability Quality of life 



The authors thank the Director of General of the Ministry of Health Malaysia and also the Management of SEGi University College for the permission to publish this paper. We also thank Dr Lim Teck Onn, Director of Clinical Research Centre, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Dr Jamaiyah Haniff and Dr Faridah Aryani for their valuable guidance during the study. In addition, we extend our appreciation to the logistic group members, Ms Geeta Appanah, Ms Gunavathy Selvaraj, Ms Rajaswari Karuppiah and their team members . We gratefully acknowledge the EuroQOL Group for the permission in using the Malay, Tamil and Mandarin version of the EQ-5D questionnaire. This project was funded by a grant (NMRR ID 08-1453-3048) from the Ministry of Health Malaysia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V./The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Research CentreHospital Kuala LumpurKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Research and Innovation Management CentreSEGi University CollegePetaling JayaMalaysia

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