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01-03-2015 | Uitgave 3/2015 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 3/2015

Experience-based VAS values for EQ-5D-3L health states in a national general population health survey in China

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2015
Sun Sun, Jiaying Chen, Paul Kind, Ling Xu, Yaoguang Zhang, Kristina Burström
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-014-0793-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



To investigate the feasibility of deriving experience-based visual analogue scale (VAS) values for EQ-5D-3L health states using national general population health survey data in China.


The EQ-5D-3L was included in the National Health Services Survey (n = 120,709, aged 15–103 years) to measure health-related quality of life. The respondents reported their current health status on a VAS and completed the EQ-5D-3L questionnaire, enabling modelling of the association between the experience-based VAS values and self-reported problems on EQ-5D dimensions and severity levels.


VAS values were generally negatively associated with problems reported on the EQ-5D dimensions, and the anxiety/depression dimension had the greatest impact on VAS values. A previously obtained value for dead allowed the values for all 243 EQ-5D-3L health states to be transformed to the 0–1 scale (0 = dead, 1 = full health).


This study presents the feasibility of deriving an experience-based VAS values for EQ-5D-3L health states in China. The analysis of these VAS data raises more fundamental issues concerning the universal nature of the classification system and the extent to which Chinese respondents utilise the same concepts of health as defined by this classification system.

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