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01-04-2016 | Uitgave 4/2016

Quality of Life Research 4/2016

Mapping the EORTC QLQ-C30 onto the EQ-5D-3L: assessing the external validity of existing mapping algorithms

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2016
Brett Doble, Paula Lorgelly
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-015-1116-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
On behalf of the CANCER 2015 Consortium.



To determine the external validity of existing mapping algorithms for predicting EQ-5D-3L utility values from EORTC QLQ-C30 responses and to establish their generalizability in different types of cancer.


A main analysis (pooled) sample of 3560 observations (1727 patients) and two disease severity patient samples (496 and 93 patients) with repeated observations over time from Cancer 2015 were used to validate the existing algorithms. Errors were calculated between observed and predicted EQ-5D-3L utility values using a single pooled sample and ten pooled tumour type-specific samples. Predictive accuracy was assessed using mean absolute error (MAE) and standardized root-mean-squared error (RMSE). The association between observed and predicted EQ-5D utility values and other covariates across the distribution was tested using quantile regression. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated using observed and predicted values to test responsiveness.


Ten ‘preferred’ mapping algorithms were identified. Two algorithms estimated via response mapping and ordinary least-squares regression using dummy variables performed well on number of validation criteria, including accurate prediction of the best and worst QLQ-C30 health states, predicted values within the EQ-5D tariff range, relatively small MAEs and RMSEs, and minimal differences between estimated QALYs. Comparison of predictive accuracy across ten tumour type-specific samples highlighted that algorithms are relatively insensitive to grouping by tumour type and affected more by differences in disease severity.


Two of the ‘preferred’ mapping algorithms suggest more accurate predictions, but limitations exist. We recommend extensive scenario analyses if mapped utilities are used in cost-utility analyses.

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