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25-08-2015 | Uitgave 3/2016 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 3/2016

Japanese population norms for preference-based measures: EQ-5D-3L, EQ-5D-5L, and SF-6D

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2016
Takeru Shiroiwa, Takashi Fukuda, Shunya Ikeda, Ataru Igarashi, Shinichi Noto, Shinya Saito, Kojiro Shimozuma



The purpose of this study was to measure the population norms for the Japanese versions of preference-based measures (EQ-5D-3L, EQ-5D-5L, and SF-6D). We also considered the relations between QOL score in the general population and socio-demographic factors.


A total of 1143 adult respondents (aged ≥ 20 years) were randomly sampled from across Japan using data from the Basic Resident Register. The health status of each respondent was measured using the EQ-5D-3L, EQ-5D-5L, and SF-6D, and responses regarding socio-demographic data as well as subjective diseases and symptoms were obtained. The responses were converted to a QOL score using Japanese value sets.


The percentages of respondents with full health scores were 68 % (EQ-5D-3L), 55 % (EQ-5D-5L), and 4 % (SF-6D). The QOL score measured using the SF-6D was significantly lower than those measured using either EQ-5D score. The QOL score was significantly lower among respondents over the age of 60 years, those who had a lower income, and those who had a shorter period of education. Intraclass correlation coefficient showed a poor agreement between the EQ-5D and SF-6D scores. The differences in QOL scores between respondents with and those without any disease were 0.064 for the EQ-5D-3L, 0.061 for the EQ-5D-5L, and 0.073 for the SF-6D; these differences are regarded as between-group minimal important differences in the general population.


The Japanese population norms of three preference-based QOL measures were examined for the first time. Such information is useful for economic evaluations and research examining QOL score.

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