Protocol - Health Quality Index for Economic Evaluations - Adult

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The EQ-5D-3L is a standardized instrument for use as a measure of health outcomes. The EQ-5D-3L is applicable to a wide range of health conditions and treatments; it provides a simple descriptive profile and a single index value for health status. This instrument offers three levels of answers: no problems, some problems, or extreme problems.


The EQ-5D-3L self-reported questionnaire includes a descriptive system and the EQ visual analogue scale (EQ VAS). The descriptive system comprises five dimensions:

  • Mobility
  • Self-Care
  • Usual Activities
  • Pain/Discomfort
  • Anxiety/Depression

Each dimension has three levels:

  • No problems
  • Moderate problems
  • Extreme problems

For the descriptive system, the respondent is asked to indicate his or her health state by marking the most appropriate statement in each of the three dimensions. This decision results in a one-digit number expressing the level selected for that dimension. The digits for three dimensions can be combined in a three-digit number describing the respondent’s health state.

The visual analogue scale records the respondent’s self-rated health on a 20 cm vertical, visual analogue scale with endpoints labeled "the best health you can imagine" and "the worst health you can imagine." This information can be used as a quantitative measure of health, as judged by the individual respondents.

EQ-5D™ is a trademark of the EuroQol Group.

Personnel and Training Required


Equipment Needs



Requirement CategoryRequired
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individualNo
Major equipmentNo
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collectionNo
Specialized trainingNo

Mode of Administration


Life Stage:


Specific Instructions:

Note: Licensing fees are determined by the EuroQol Executive Office on the basis of the user information provided on the registration form. The amount is dependent on the type of study, funding source, sample size, and number of requested languages. You are not obligated to purchase by registering.

See EQ-5D-3L User Guide for instructions and scoring.

Research Domain Information

Release Date:

November 21, 2016


Instrument used to measure respondent’s quality of life, given medical conditions or health problems.


The purpose of this measure is to construct a quality-adjusted life year index that can be used to assess the relative burden of living with any given medical condition, including substance abuse addiction and other chronic conditions.

Selection Rationale

The EQ-5D-3L is used in clinical and economic evaluations of health care and also in population health surveys. The instrument has multinational and national usages. It is available in multiple modalities (face-to-face, online, tablet, paper, etc.). It is being applied in multinational trials by pharmaceutical companies.


English, Available in other languages


Common Data Elements (CDE)Adult Health Quality Index Assessment Score3373530CDE Browser

Process and Review

The [link[phenx.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1041|Expert Review Panel #3]] (ERP 3) reviewed the measures in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substances, and Substance Abuse and Addiction domains.

Guidance from ERP 3 includes:

• Changed name of Measure

• Updated protocol

• New Data Dictionary

Back-compatible: Partially back-compatible (updated/similar protocol which would require some changes to the data dictionary), variable mapping between current and previous protocols can be found [link[www.phenxtoolkit.org/index.php?pageLink=browse.archive.protocols&id=560000|here]]

Previous version in Toolkit archive ([link[www.phenxtoolkit.org/index.php?pageLink=resources.archive|link]])


EuroQol Group. (2005). EQ-5D. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Author.

The EQ-5D can be obtained by contacting the following: EuroQol Group Executive Office Marten Meesweg 107 3068 AV Rotterdam Netherlands Telephone: +31 884400190 E-mail: userinformationservice@eurogol.org

General References

Bridges, J. (2003). Stated preference methods in health care evaluation: An emerging methodological paradigm in health economics. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, 2(4), 213-224.

Brooks, R., Rabin, R., & de Charro, F. (Eds). (2003). The measurement and valuation of health status using EQ-5D: A European perspective. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.

Devlin, N. J., Hansen, P., Kind, P., & Williams, A. (2003). Logical inconsistencies in survey respondents’ health state valuations-A methodological challenge for estimating social tariffs. Health Economics, 12(7), 529-544.

Dolan, P. (1997). Modeling valuations for EuroQol health states. Medical Care, 35(11), 1095-1108.

Dolan, P. (1999). Whose preferences count? Medical Decision Making, 19(4), 482-486.

Greiner, W., Weijnen, T., Nieuwenhuizen, M., Oppe, S., Badia, X., Busschbach, J., Buxton, M., Dolan, P., Kind, P., Krabbe, P., Ohinmaa, A., Parkin, D., Roset, M., Sintonen, H., Tsuchiya, A., & de Charo, F. (2003). A single European currency for EQ-5D health states. Results from a six-country study. European Journal of Health Economics, 4(3), 222-231.

Kind, P. (2003). Guidelines for value sets in economic and non-economic studies using EQ-5D. In R. Brooks, R. Rabin, & F. de Charro (Eds.), The measurement and valuation of health status using EQ-5D: A European perspective (pp. 29-42). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer.

Shaw, J. W., Johnson, J. A., & Coons, S. J. (2005). US valuation of the EQ-5D health states: Development and testing of the D1 valuation model. Medical Care, 43(3), 203-220.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2012 January). U.S. validation of the EuroQol EQ-5D™ Health States.. Rockville, MD: Author.

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