Three EQ-5D value sets (EQ-5D-3L, crosswalk, and EQ-5D-5L) are now available for cost-utility analysis in the UK and/or England. The value sets’ characteristics differ, and it is important to assess the implications of these differences.
The aim of this paper is to compare the three value sets.
We carried out analysis comparing the predicted values from each value set, and investigated how differences in health on the descriptive system is reflected in the utility score by assessing the value of adjacent states. We also assessed differences in values using data from patients who completed both EQ-5D-3L and EQ-5D-5L.
The distribution of the value sets systematically differed. EQ-5D-5L values were higher than EQ-5D-3L/crosswalk values. The overall range and difference between adjacent states was smaller. In the patient data, the EQ-5D-5L produced higher values across all conditions and there was some evidence that the value sets rank different health conditions in a similar severity order.
There are important differences between the value sets. Due to the smaller range of EQ-5D-5L values, the possible change in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) might be reduced, but they will apply to both control and intervention groups, and will depend on whether the gain is in quality of life, survival, or both. The increased sensitivity of EQ-5D-5L may also favour QALY gains even if the changes in utility are smaller. Further work should assess the impact of the different value sets on cost effectiveness by repeating the analysis on clinical trial data.
Key Points for Decision Makers
– There are differences between the UK EQ-5D-3L and English EQ-5D-5L value sets.
– The choice of value set will have implications for the decision-making process carried out by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence.