Measurement properties of the EQ-5D across four major geriatric conditions: Findings from TOPICS-MDS

Jennifer E. Lutomski, Paul F. M. Krabbe, Nienke Bleijenberg, Jeanett Blom, Gertrudis I. J. M. Kempen, Janet MacNeil-Vroomen, Maaike E. Muntinga, Ewout Steyerburg, Marcel G. M. Olde-Rikkert, Rene J. F. Melis*, TOPICS Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: As populations age, chronic geriatric conditions linked to progressive organ failure jeopardize health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Thus, this research assessed the validity and applicability of the EQ-5D (a common HRQoL instrument) across four major chronic geriatric conditions: hearing issues, joint damage, urinary incontinence, or dizziness with falls.

Methods: The study sample comprised 25,637 community-dwelling persons aged 65 years and older residing in the Netherlands (Data source: TOPICS-MDS, Floor and ceiling effects were examined. To assess convergent validity, random effects meta-correlations (Spearman's rho) were derived between individual EQ-5D domains and related survey items. To further examine construct validity, the association between sociodemographic characteristics and EQ-5D summary scores were assessed using linear mixed models. Outcomes were compared to the overall study population as well as a 'healthy' subgroup reporting no major chronic conditions.

Results: Whereas ceiling effects were observed in the overall study population and the 'healthy' subgroup, such was not the case in the geriatric condition subgroups. The majority of hypotheses regarding correlations between survey items and sociodemographic associations were supported. EQ-5D summary scores were lower in respondents who were older, female, widowed/single, lower educated, and living alone. Increasing co-morbidity had a clear negative effect on EQ-5D scores.

Conclusion: This study supported the construct validity of the EQ-5D across four major geriatric conditions. For older persons who are generally healthy, i.e. reporting few to no chronic conditions, the EQ-5D confers poor discriminative ability due to ceiling effects. Although the overall dataset initially suggested poor discriminative ability for the EQ-5D, such was not the case within subgroups presenting with major geriatric conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Number of pages11
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2017


  • Quality of life
  • EQ-5D
  • Hearing loss
  • Joint diseases
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Dizziness
  • AGE


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