The British Journal of Psychiatry
Using generic preference-based measures in mental health: psychometric validity of the EQ-5D and SF-6D
Brendan Mulhern, Clara Mukuria, Michael Barkham, Martin Knapp, Sarah Byford, Djøra Soeteman, John Brazier
  • Declaration of interest

    J.B. developed the SF-6D. M.B. was part of the CORE-OM development group.



Generic preference-based measures (EuroQoL-5D (EQ-5D) and SF-6D) are used in the economic evaluation of mental health interventions. However, there are inconsistent findings regarding their psychometric properties.


To investigate the psychometric properties of the EQ-5D and SF-6D in different mental health conditions, using seven existing data-sets.


The construct validity and responsiveness of the measures were assessed in comparison with condition-specific indicators.


Evidence for construct validity and responsiveness in common mental health and personality disorders was found (correlations 0.22-0.64; effect sizes 0.37-1.24; standardised response means 0.45-1.31). There was some evidence for validity in schizophrenia (correlations 0.05-0.43), but responsiveness was unclear.


EQ-5D and SF-6D can be used in the economic evaluation of interventions for common mental health problems with some confidence. In schizophrenia, a preference-based measure focused on the impact of mental health should be considered.

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