UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Comparison of trends in US health-related quality of life over the 2000s using the SF-6D, HALex, EQ-5D, and EQ-5D visual analog scale versus a broader set of symptoms and impairments

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Status; Humans; Mental Health; Psychometrics; *Quality of Life; Questionnaires; Socioeconomic Factors; United States; Visual Analog Scale


Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: A number of instruments have been developed to measure health-related quality of life (HRQoL), differing in the health domains covered and their scoring. Although few such measures have been consistently included in US national health surveys over time, the surveys have included data on a broad range of symptoms and impairments, which enables the tracking of population health trends.

OBJECTIVES: To compare trends in HRQoL as measured using existing instruments versus using a broader range of symptoms and impairments collected in multiple years of nationally representative data.

DATA AND MEASURES: Data were from the 2000-2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which is nationally representative of the noninstitutionalized US population. Level of and trends in HRQoL derived from a broad range of survey symptoms and impairments (SSI) was compared with HRQoL from the SF-6D, the HALex, and, between 2000 and 2003, the EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) and EQ-5D Visual Analog Scale.

RESULTS: Trends in HRQoL were similar using different measures. The SSI scores correlated 0.66-0.80 with scores from other measures and mean SSI scores were between those of other measures. Scores from all HRQoL measures declined similarly with increasing age and with the presence of comorbid conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Measuring HRQoL using a broader range of symptoms and impairments than those in a single instrument yields population health trends similar to those from other measures while making maximum use of existing data and providing rich detail on the factors underlying change.

DOI of Published Version



Med Care. 2014 Dec;52(12):1010-6. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000181. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical care

PubMed ID