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Analyzing the Pain/Discomfort and Anxiety/Depression Composite Domains and the Meaning of Discomfort in the EQ-5D: A Mixed-Methods Study – Publication by Fanni Rencz

2022-11-11 10:39:32

The publication co-authored by Fanni Rencz was published in the Value in Health.
Corvinus Épület



The EQ-5D has 2 composite domains: pain/discomfort (PD) and anxiety/depression (AD). This study aims to explore how respondents use the composites to self-report health and what the meaning of discomfort is in the EQ-5D for the general public. 


Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in an online cross-sectional survey involving a nationally representative general population sample in Hungary (n = 1700). Respondents completed the 5-level version of EQ-5D, followed by the composites split into individual subdomains. Open-ended questions were asked to explore respondents’ interpretations and experiences of discomfort. 


Six different response behaviors were identified in the composites: “uniform” (21%-32%), “most severe” (30%-34%), “least severe” (16%-23%), “average” (2%-4%), “synergistic” (4%-5%), and “inconsistent” (13%-15%). Compared with the individual subdomains, many respondents under-reported their problems on both composites (PD 16%-22% and AD 6%-13%, P < .05). In respondents who scored differently in the 2 separate domains, mainly problems with the first subdomain determined responses in the composites (PD 66% and AD 61%). The discomfort subdomain in the EQ-5D captured more than 100 different problems, including pain, nonpain physical discomfort (eg, tiredness, dizziness, and nausea), and psychological discomfort (eg, anxiety, nervousness, and sadness). Women, older adults, and those in worse general health status more often considered discomfort as pain (P < .05). 


We found empirical evidence of measurement error in the composite responses on the EQ-5D, including under- and inconsistent reporting, ordering effects, potential differential item functioning, and interdomain dependency. Our findings contribute new knowledge to the development of new and refinement of existing self-reported health status instruments, also beyond the EQ-5D. 

Prof. Dr. Rencz Fanni fanni.rencz@uni-corvinus.hu Rektori Szervezet / Társadalom- és Politikatudományi Intézet / Egészségpolitika Tanszék
Egyetemi Tanár / Professor
C épület, 533
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GEN.:2024.07.21. - 02:19:11