A review of the psychometric performance of the EQ-5D in people with urinary incontinence.

Research paper by Sarah S Davis, Allan A Wailoo

Indexed on: 20 Feb '13Published on: 20 Feb '13Published in: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes


Urinary incontinence can cause embarrassment and can impact on daily activities and quality of life. Generic health related quality of life instruments, such as the EQ-5D, are designed to be applicable across a variety of disease areas. However, it is sometimes claimed that they are not applicable to a certain disease area because they are missing a domain which directly captures the impact of that particular disease. For example, none of the domains of the EQ-5D relate directly to incontinence, although the impact of incontinence on quality of life may be expected to be picked up indirectly through changes in domains such as usual activities or anxiety/depression. The objective of this review was to examine the appropriateness of the EQ-5D in people with urinary incontinence by reviewing published evidence relating to the psychometric performance of the EQ-5D. A systematic search was conducted to identify studies reporting data that permitted assessment of the construct validity, responsiveness or reliability of the EQ-5D in people with urinary incontinence. Included papers were those that reported EQ-5D alongside other measures of health related quality of life or clinical measures in patients with urinary incontinence or in a broader population where results were reported for a subgroup of patients with urinary incontinence. Data were extracted and a narrative synthesis was undertaken. Seventeen papers were included in the review. In most of the tests performed, EQ-5D was consistent with clinical or disease specific outcome measures. The EQ-5D demonstrated validity in the majority of 'known group' comparisons, although statistical significance was not always reported. Correlations between the EQ-5D and disease specific outcomes were statistically significant and in the expected direction for most but not all of the disease specific instruments and clinical measures. For responsiveness, there was general agreement between changes in EQ-5D and changes in clinical or disease specific measures. Evidence on reliability was limited to one study. The EQ-5D was generally found to perform well on tests of construct validity, responsiveness and reliability, in people with urinary incontinence although no definitive conclusion can be made on its appropriateness based on these measures alone.