Evaluation of the EQ-5D-3L and 5L versions in low back pain patients
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2021, 19 . 10.1186/s12955-021-01792-y
Background The EuroQol EQ-5D is one of the most widely researched and applied patient-reported outcome measures worldwide. The original EQ-5D-3L and more recent EQ-5D-5L include three and five response categories respectively. Evidence from healthy and sick populations shows that the additional two response categories improve measurement properties but there has not been a concurrent comparison of the two versions in patients with low back pain (LBP). Methods LBP patients taking part in a multicenter randomized controlled trial of lumbar total disc replacement and conservative treatment completed the EQ-5D-3L and 5L in an eight-year follow-up questionnaire. The 3L and 5L were assessed for aspects of data quality including missing data, floor and ceiling effects, response consistency, and based on a priori hypotheses, associations with the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Pain-Visual Analogue Scales and Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25). Results At the eight-year follow-up, 151 (87%) patients were available and 146 completed both the 3L and 5L. Levels of missing data were the same for the two versions. Compared to the EQ-5D-5L, the 3L had significantly higher floor (pain discomfort) and ceiling effects (mobility, self-care, pain/discomfort, anxiety/depression). For these patients the EQ-5D-5L described 73 health states compared to 28 for the 3L. Shannon’s indices showed the 5L outperformed the 3L in tests of classification efficiency. Correlations with the ODI, Pain-VAS and HSCL-25 were largely as hypothesized, the 5L having slightly higher correlations than the 3L. Conclusion The EQ-5D assesses important aspect of health in LBP patients and the 5L improves upon the 3L in this respect. The EQ-5D-5L is recommended in preference to the 3L version, however, further testing in other back pain populations together with additional measurement properties, including responsiveness to change, is recommended. © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.