Validity of EQ-5D utility index and minimal clinically important difference estimation among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

BMC Pulmonary Medicine. 2020;20(1):1-10 DOI 10.1186/s12890-020-1116-z


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: BMC Pulmonary Medicine

ISSN: 1471-2466 (Online)

Publisher: BMC

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Internal medicine: Specialties of internal medicine: Diseases of the respiratory system

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Eunmi Bae (College of Pharmacy, Korea University)

Sang-Eun Choi (College of Pharmacy, Korea University)

Haeyoung Lee (University of Maryland School of Pharmacy)

Gyeongseon Shin (College of Pharmacy, Korea University)

Daewon Kang (College of Pharmacy, Korea University)


Open peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 23 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract Background The discriminatory ability of multi-attribute utility (MAU) measures compared to condition-specific measures (CSM) in assessing health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an unsettled issue. This study investigated the quality of life of patients with COPD with three different HRQoL instruments and examined whether they could differentiate between adjacent severity groups in a statistically and clinically meaningful manner. In the process, the minimal clinically important differences (MCID) of the EQ-5D utility index were estimated. Methods Cross-sectional survey data were collected from patients with mild to very severe COPD in South Korea. In addition to demographic and clinical information, the following HRQoL questionnaires were used: The three-level five-dimensional Euro-Quality of Life tool (EQ-5D-3L), the EQ-Visual Analog Scale (EQ-VAS), and the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Assessment Test (CAT). Patients’ health-related quality of life was analyzed with reference to severity groups based on the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification. To investigate the discriminatory ability of the HRQoL instruments between COPD severity groups, tests examining variance, covariance, and standardized mean difference were performed. After estimating the MCID of the EQ-5D utility index using the anchor-based method, we investigated whether the differences in the EQ-5D utility scores between groups exceeded the clinically meaningful minimum level. Results A total of 298 patients completed this study. All the quality of life scores showed statistically significant differences between the GOLD severity groups. The pooled MCID estimate for the EQ-5D utility index was 0.028 (range: 0.017–0.033). Even after adjusting for other factors affecting quality of life, the EQ-5D utility index differentiated the GOLD groups well. Conclusions We conclude that the EQ-5D utility index is a valid instrument for measuring the quality of life of patients with COPD, and the pooled MCID estimate for the EQ-5D utility index was 0.028.