• EQ-5D;
  • health utility;
  • mapping;
  • osteoarthritis;


Objective:  To map the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) onto the EuroQol 5 Dimension (EQ-5D) utility index in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods:  A consecutive sample of patients (n = 258) diagnosed with knee OA completed both the WOMAC and the EQ-5D. Regression models with the ordinary least squares (OLS) or the censored least absolute deviations as the estimator were used to establish the mapping function. The WOMAC was represented as explanatory variables in four ways: 1) total score; 2) domain scores (i.e., pain, stiffness, and physical function); 3) domain scores plus pair-wise interaction terms to account for possible nonlinearities; and 4) individual item scores. Goodness-of-fit criteria included the mean absolute error (the primary criterion) and the root mean squared error, and were obtained using an iterative random sampling procedure. Prediction precision was evaluated at individual patient level and at the group level.

Results:  The model using the OLS estimator and the WOMAC domain scores as explanatory variables had the best fit and was chosen as the preferred mapping model. The prediction error at the individual level exceeded the maximal tolerance value (i.e., the minimally important difference of the EQ-5D) in about 16% of the patients. At the group level, the width of the 95% confidence interval of prediction errors varied from 0.0176 at a sample size of 400 to 0.0359 at a sample size of 100.

Conclusions:  EQ-5D scores can be predicted using WOMAC domain scores with an acceptable precision at both individual and group levels in patients with mild to moderate knee OA.