To analyse the psychometric properties of the EQ-5D in German stroke survivors undergoing neurological rehabilitation.
The EQ-5D, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) were completed before (210 subjects) and after (183 subjects) a patient education programme in seven rehabilitation clinics in Bavaria, Germany. A postal follow-up was conducted after 6 months. Acceptance, validity, reliability and responsiveness of the EQ-5D were tested. The SIS subscales were used as external anchors to classify the patients into change groups between the measurements.
The proportion of missing answers ranged from 4.7 to 8.6%. Between 16 and 19% reported no problems in any EQ-5D dimension. At baseline, correlations between EQ-5D index and the SIS subscales ranged from 0.15 (communication) to 0.60 (mobility). Correlations with the EQ VAS were slightly smaller. All scores were reliable in test–retest with intraclass correlations ranging from 0.67 to 0.81. EQ-5D index and EQ VAS were consistently responsive only to improvements in health, showing small- to medium effect sizes (0.27–0.42).
The EQ-5D has shown reasonable validity, reliability and, more limited, responsiveness in stroke patients with mild to moderate limitations of functional status, allowing it to be used in clinical trials in rehabilitation.