Is there a difference between EQ-5D and SF-6D in the
clinical setting? a comparative study on the quality of life
measured by AIMS2-SF, EQ-5D and SF-6D scales for
and Shuchuen LI
School of Business Administration, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang,
Beijing Union University Hospital, Beijing,
Department of Orthopedics, First Afﬁliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, China and
Discipline of Pharmacy and
Experimental Pharmacology, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales,
Background: The use of both generic and disease-speciﬁc instruments in assessing quality of life (QoL) in sub-
jects may pose a barrier in a busy clinical setting with heavy case load. Our current study attempted to evaluate
the responsiveness of generic scales, EQ-5D and SF-6D, as compared with a disease-speciﬁc instrument, AIM2-
SF, in patients with osteoarthritis, to judge which of the two generic instruments would be more suitable to be
used alone in the clinical setting.
Methods: Correlation tests with Pearson correlation coefﬁcient were carried out between EQ-5D and SF-6D
scales, and AIMS2-SF scale for both 100 ﬁrst-diagnosed osteoarthritis patients and 22 patients with two follow-
up interviews. Multivariate stepwise regression analysis was further performed on the impact of dimensions that
affect the change of QoL.
Results: In the evaluation of QoL for 100 patients with osteoarthritis by the EQ-5D scale, anxiety was the
dimension with the highest sensitivity; while the SF-6D scale had higher sensitivity on two dimensions of psy-
chological health and role limitations. Therefore, SF-6D would appear more suitable for evaluating QoL of
arthritis patients at ﬁrst presentation. For patients at follow-up interviews, EQ-5D scale maintained the highest
sensitivity on anxiety and SF-6D scale only had high sensitivity on the psychological health dimension. As such,
the two scales would have equivalent effects for the patients at follow-up interviews. In comparison, all the
dimensions of SF-6D showed signiﬁcant correlation with practically every dimension of AIMS2-SF. Hence, the
overall results indicate SF-6D may be more suitable for use in patients with clinical osteoarthritis.
Key words: AIMS2-SF, correlation, EQ-5D, osteoarthritis, quality of life, SF-6D.
Osteoarthritis (OA), the commonest form of arthritis,
is a chronic joint disease usually presenting as
inﬂammation of knee joints, caused by chronic strain
leading to articular cartilage degeneration.
about 40% of elderly patients suffer from osteoarthritis,
many with severe physical pain.
Hence, the guide of
diagnosis and treatment of OA, by the Bone Science
Branch of the Chinese Medical Association in 2007,
explicitly stated that the ultimate goal of treatment is to
reduce or eliminate pain and to improve the quality of
life (QoL) of patient with osteoarthritis.
Correspondence: Professor Shuchuen Li, Discipline of
Pharmacy and Experimental Pharmacology, School of
Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle,
Callaghan, NSW, Australia.
© 2016 Asia Paciﬁc League of Associations for Rheumatology and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd
International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 2018; 21: 1185–1192