Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures

pp 87-99

The EQ-5D Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire

  • N. GusiAffiliated withFaculty of Sports Sciences, University of Extremadura
  • , P. R. OlivaresAffiliated withFaculty of Sports Sciences, University of Extremadura
  • , R. RajendramAffiliated withDepartments of General Medicine and Intensive Care, John Radcliffe Hospital


Assessment of health care requires measurement and monitoring of health. The EuroQOL five dimensions questionnaire (EQ-5D) is one of the most commonly used generic questionnaires to measure health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The conceptual basis of the EQ-5D is the holistic view of health, which includes the medical definition, as well as the fundamental importance of independent physical, emotional and social functioning. The concept of health in EQ-5D also encompasses both positive aspects (well-being) and negative aspects (illness). The EQ-5D is short, easy to use and flexible. It has been used successfully in several different settings (scientific trials, health policies, pharmacoeconomics, clinics, etc.). It consists of a questionnaire and a visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS). The EQ-VAS is a self-rated health status using a VAS. The EQ-VAS records the subject’s perceptions of their own current overall health and can be used to monitor changes with time. The self-assessment questionnaire is self-reported description of the subject’s current health in 5 dimensions i.e., mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. The subject is asked to grade their own current level of function in each dimension into one of three degrees of disability (severe, moderate or none). The combination of these with the conditions “death” and “unconscious” enables description of 245 different health states. Each health state can be ranked and transformed a single score called the utility. The utility score is an expression of the Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) and is commonly used to make evidence-based decisions in analyses of cost-effectiveness. Therefore, the EQ-5D can be used for health outcomes studies and economic analyses. The EQ-5D was initially developed for adults; a new version has recently been developed for children aged 8–18 years old (EQ-5D-Y).