What is the evidence for the performance of generic preference-based measures? A systematic overview of reviews

Aureliano Paolo Finch*, John Edward Brazier, Clara Mukuria

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To assess the evidence on the validity and responsiveness of five commonly used preference-based instruments, the EQ-5D, SF-6D, HUI3, 15D and AQoL, by undertaking a review of reviews. Methods: Four databases were investigated using a strategy refined through a highly sensitive filter for systematic reviews. References were screened and a search for grey literature was performed. Identified citations were scrutinized against pre-defined eligibility criteria and data were extracted using a customized extraction template. Evidence on known group validity, convergent validity and responsiveness was extracted and reviewed by narrative synthesis. Quality of the included reviews was assessed using a modified version of the AMSTAR checklist. Results: Thirty reviews were included, sixteen of which were of excellent or good quality. The body of evidence, covering more than 180 studies, was heavily skewed towards EQ-5D, with significantly fewer studies investigating HUI3 and SF-6D, and very few the 15D and AQoL. There was also lack of head-to-head comparisons between GPBMs and the tests reported by the reviews were often weak. Where there was evidence, EQ-5D, SF-6D, HUI3, 15D and AQoL seemed generally valid and responsive instruments, although not for all conditions. Evidence was not consistently reported across reviews. Conclusions: Although generally valid, EQ-5D, SF-6D and HUI3 suffer from some problems and perform inconsistently in some populations. The lack of head-to-head comparisons and the poor reporting impedes the comparative assessment of the performance of GPBMs. This highlights the need for large comparative studies designed to test instruments’ performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 May 2017


  • Preference based measures
  • Psychometric properties
  • Quality of life
  • Review


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