Deriving an Algorithm to Convert the Eight Mean SF-36 Dimension Scores into a Mean EQ-5D Preference-Based Score from Published Studies (Where Patient Level Data Are Not Available)


Roberta Ara, Health Economics and Decision Science, ScHARR, The University of Sheffield, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield S1 4DA UK. E-mail:


Objective:  The objective of the study was to derive a method to predict a mean cohort EQ-5D preference-based index score using published mean statistics of the eight dimension scores describing the SF-36 health profile.

Methods:  Ordinary least square regressions models are derived using patient level data (n = 6350) collected during 12 clinical studies. The models were compared for goodness of fit using standard techniques such as variance explained, the magnitude of errors in predicted values, and the proportion of values within the minimal important difference of the EQ-5D. Predictive abilities were also compared using summary statistics from both within-sample subgroups and published studies.

Results:  The models obtained explained more than 56% of the variance in the EQ-5D scores. The mean predicted EQ-5D score was correct to within two decimal places for all models and the absolute error for the individual predicted values was approximately 0.13. Using summary statistics to predict within-sample subgroup mean EQ-5D scores, the mean errors (mean absolute errors) ranged from 0.021 to 0.077 (0.045–0.083). These statistics for the out-of-sample published data sets ranged from 0.048 to 0.099 (0.064–0.010).

Conclusions:  The models provided researchers with a mechanism to estimate EQ-5D utility data from published mean dimension scores. This research is unique in that it uses mean statistics from published studies to validate the results. While further research is required to validate the results in additional health conditions, the algorithms can be used to derive additional preference-based measures for use in economic analyses.