top of page


Updated: Apr 9, 2019

EQ-5D as a method to evaluate the quality of life


EQ-5D is the most widely used method for determining the quality of life (QoL).

Preference-based measures are used to determine the health-related quality of life to measure the clinical effect of therapeutics, clinical pathways and measures patient health.

Preference-based measurements use various attributes for measuring the quality of life.

EQ-5D, HUI-3, 5F-6D, AQoL are some of the preference-based measurements used.

EQ-5D method was developed by the EuroQol group. It comprises of 5 health attributes

1. Mobility

2. Self-care

3. Usual activities

4. Pain/discomfort

5. Anxiety/depression

ED-5D-3L considered the above attributes at 3 levels. For EQ0-5D-3L valuation protocol, time trade-off was the choice of health valuation technique.

The disadvantage with EQ-5D-3L is sensitivity levels are less for small/moderate changes. So, attention has been drawn from 3L to 5L.


EQ-5D-5L was introduced by EuroQol in 2009. This is introduced to improve sensitivity and reduce ceiling effects.

EQ-5D-5L has two components, one is the EQ-5D descriptive system and the other is the visual analog scale (VAS). Descriptive systems consist of the five attributes mentioned above.

These above attributes further categorized into 5 levels

1. No problem

2. Slight problem

3. Moderate problem

4. Severe problem

5. Extreme problem

The subject needs to tick against each level for the five attributes. On the VAS scale, the patient will rate the health with “the best

EQ-5D-5L advantages

• Perceived problems levels are raised from 3 to 5. This results in enhanced sensitivity and less ceiling effect

• Mobility dimension changed from “confined to bed” to “unable to walk about”

• EQ-VAS instruction was made easy, enabling easy to score


1. EuroQoL available from

bottom of page