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22-07-2020 | Uitgave 11/2020 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 11/2020

Using qualitative methods for a conceptual analysis of measures of health status and presenteeism prior to a mapping study

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 11/2020
Cheryl Jones, Katherine Payne, Suzanne M. M. Verstappen
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-020-02570-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.

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The inclusion of productivity in economic evaluations is a contentious issue. Methods are currently being developed to assess how it may feasibly be included for specific interventions, such as workplace interventions (WPIs), where productivity is a key outcome. Mapping (also called cross-walking or prediction modelling) may offer a solution. Prior to producing a mapping algorithm, it is recommended that the conceptual validity between ‘source’ and ‘target’ measures be understood first. This study aimed to understand the conceptual validity of two existing measures of health status (EQ-5D; SF-6D) and presenteeism to inform the potential for a subsequent mapping algorithm.


A purposive sample of individuals who were currently working and had either rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Individuals were recruited through support groups. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted until data saturation (no new emerging themes) was reached. Deductive and inductive framework analysis methods were used to identify key aspects of the conditions (themes) that impact on presenteeism (working at reduced levels of health).


Twenty-two (RA = 10; AS = 9; PsA = 3) employed individuals were interviewed. Deductive analysis identified evidence which confirmed the domains included in the EQ-5D and SF-6D capture those key aspects of RA, AS and PsA that increase presenteeism. Inductive analysis identified an additional theme; mental clarity, not captured by the EQ-5D or SF-6D, was also found to have a direct impact on presenteeism.


The results of the study indicate conceptual validity of both health status measures to predict presenteeism. The next step is to develop a mapping algorithm for presenteeism.

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