Comparison of Euroqol EQ-5D & SF-36 in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

The objective of the study was to compare the Euroqol EQ-5D

(Euroqol) and short-form 36 (SF-36) health questionnaires in

patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). One hundred and

twenty-seven outpatients referred to a hospital-based

infectious disease clinic with a diagnosis of CFS were

contacted by post and asked to complete both questionnaires.

Additional data were determined from hospital casenotes.

Eighty-five patients returned correctly completed

questionnaires. Euroqol health values and visual analogue

scale (VAS) scores were strongly and significantly correlated

with all dimensions of the SF-36, with the exception of

physical limitation of role. SF-36 dimensions were in turn

strongly and significantly correlated with each other, with

the same exception. Patients reported a high degree of

physical disability and a moderate degree of emotional or

psychological ill-health. The Euroqol elements dealing with

mobility and self-care referred to inappropriately severe

degrees of disability for these patients with CFS.

Similarly, some dimensions in the SF-36 were oversensitive and did not

discriminate between patients with moderate or severe

disability. It was concluded that Euroqol scores correlated

strongly with SF-36 scores and provided useful information

about patients with CFS and that Euroqol would be a useful

tool for the rapid assessment of health status in CFS. The

current Euroqol instrument refers to inappropriately severe

degrees of disability for patients with CFS and would need to

be modified to be maximally useful in this situation.

Myers C, Wilks D

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