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01-03-2011 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 2/2011 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 2/2011

Discrepancy in rating health-related quality of life of depression between patient and general population

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2011
Sylvia A. H. Gerhards, Silvia M. A. A. Evers, Philip W. M. Sabel, Marcus J. H. Huibers



To compare the quality of life valuation of a hypothetical depression health state between a general population versus a depressive patient population, and within a patient population.


In a self-administered Internet questionnaire, both patient and general population groups filled in the Euroqol 5D (EQ-5D) questionnaire for a hypothetical depression health state describing mild (N = 740), moderate (N = 691), or severe (N = 670) depression and valued it using a rating scale (RS). The ‘patient’ group consisted of people reporting depressive complaints on the Internet questionnaire, subdivided into three depression severity groups (mild, moderate, severe) based on the Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II) and two groups according to self-perceived duration (≤3 months, ≥4 months) of depressive complaints (SPDD).


Significant differences were found between the patient and general population and within the patient population on RS outcomes and on the Euroqol domains usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. The direction of the differences shows that subgroups with higher severity or longer duration of depressive complaints value depression health states worse compared with subgroups with less severe complaints, a shorter duration, or no depressive complaints. Moreover, the discrepancy in valuation of a health state between different subgroups changes according to the severity of the health state described.


There are discrepancies in the valuation of a hypothetical depression health state between a patient and general population, whereby depression leads to a worse valuation. But also within the patient population, the valuation differs according to depression severity and duration. Identification with the hypothetical health state description might explain the varying differences found between subgroups for the different hypothetical health state descriptions.

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