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Duration of condition is unrelated to health-state valuation on the EuroQoL

Clin Rehabil 2003 Mar;17(2):209-15
Myers JA, McPherson KM, Taylor WJ, Weatherall M, McNaughton HK.
Rehabilitation Teaching and Research Unit, Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.


To determine whether health valuations, such as those used in economic evaluation, are affected by duration of a health condition.

People with disabling health conditions tend to value health more highly than members of the general population, and one explanation for this is that over time their experience of living with a disabling illness changes the way in which they value health.

If this is so, a relationship between the duration of an individual's disabling health condition and the valuation they assign to their health-state might reasonably be expected.


A postal survey using the EuroQoL (EQ-5D) instrument to collect descriptions and valuations for health from people who reported a diagnosis of either stroke or multiple sclerosis.

Contact with participants was made through national support organizations and questionnaires were returned by mail.


Eight hundred and ninety-four people completed the survey.

One hundred (11 %) had one health-state indicating moderate problems in all five dimensions of the EQ-5D descriptive profile.

For people with this health-state, analysis of covariance showed no relationship between valuation of health-state and time from onset of illness (F = 0.38, p = 0.54).

This finding applied irrespective of the diagnosis, and for some other less frequently reported health-states.


Clinical experience suggests that over time people adapt to long-term disability.

However we found no evidence to support the proposition that higher health-state valuations by people with disabling conditions are explained by the actual duration of their condition.