Research published online last week in the journal Pain found that two widely used measures of pain-related burden of disease, called EuroQol (EQ)-5D and SF-6D (from SF-12/36), generated widely differing scores for the same groups of chronic pain patients, which could have major implications for understanding the true health state of such patients. The findings additionally call into question the validity of comparing studies that have used different assessment tools.
The Researchers noted that the rationale for using health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaires such as the popular tools studied is that they provide a generic, preference-weighted index that enables the severity of different conditions to be estimated consistently. But the wide variances in scores noted in this study indicates that the choice between these tools needs to be considered in drawing conclusions about the absolute burden of disease and the economic evaluation of interventions. Read a news story, with link to the research abstract, here.