University Of Tasmania

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Using the EQ-5D-5L to investigate quality-of-life impacts of disease-modifying therapy policies for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in New Zealand

Background: Health state utilities (HSU) are a health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) input for cost-utility analyses used for resource allocation decisions, including medication reimbursement. New Zealand (NZ) guidelines recommend the EQ-5D instruments; however, the EQ-5D-5L may not sufficiently capture psychosocial health. We evaluated HRQoL among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in NZ using the EQ-5D-5L and assessed the instrument's discriminatory sensitivity for a NZ MS cohort.

Methods: Participants were recruited from the NZ MS Prevalence Study. Participants self-completed a 45-min online survey that included the EQ-5D-5L/EQ-VAS. Disability severity was classified using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) to categorise participant disability as mild (EDSS: 0-3.5), moderate (EDSS: 4.0-6.0) and severe (EDSS: 6.5-9.5). Anxiety/depression were also measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score (HADS). In the absence of an EQ-5D-5L NZ tariff, HSUs were derived using an Australian tariff. We evaluated associations between HSUs and participant characteristics with linear regression models.

Results: 254 participants entered the study. Mean age was 55.2 years, 79.5% were female. Mean (SD) EQ-5D-5L HSU was 0.58 (0.33). Mean (SD) HSUs for disability categories were: mild 0.80 +- 0.17, moderate 0.57 +- 0.21 and severe 0.14 +- 0.32. Twelve percent reported HSU = 1.0 (i.e., no problems in any domain). Participants who had never used a disease-modifying therapy reported a lower mean HSU. Multivariable modelling found that the HADS anxiety score was not associated with EQ-5D-5L.

Conclusions: for people with MS in NZ was lower than comparable countries, including Australia. We suggest a comparison with other generic tools that may have improved sensitivity to mental health.


Multiple Sclerosis Australia


Publication title

The European Journal of Health Economics

Article number

ePub ahead of print


ePub ahead of print




Menzies Institute for Medical Research



Place of publication


Rights statement

© The Author(s) 2022.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Evaluation of health outcomes; Health policy evaluation