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