Background The EQ-5D-3L, a generic multi-attribute utility instrument (MAUI), is widely employed to assist in economic evaluations in health care. The EQ-5D-3L lacks sensitivity when used in conditions such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although there are number of CVD specific quality of life instruments, currently, there are no CVD specific MAUIs. The aim of this study is to investigate the discriminative ability and responsiveness of the EQ-5D-3L and the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHF), a CVD specific quality of life instrument in a group of heart failure patients. Methods The psychometric performance of the EQ-5D-3L and the MLHF was assessed using data from a randomised trial for a heart failure management intervention. The two instruments were compared for discrimination, responsiveness and agreement. The severity groups were defined using New York Heart Association functional classes. Results The effect sizes for severe classes were generally similar showing good discrimination. The MLHF recorded better responsiveness between the time points than the EQ-5D-3L which was indicated by higher effect sizes and standardised response means. The change in MLHF summary scores between the time points was significant (p < 0.005; paired t-test). The overall agreement between the two measures was low. Conclusion The low correlation indicates that the two classification systems cover different aspects of health space. Comparison of CVD specific instruments with other generic MAUIs such as EQ-5D-3L and AQOL-8D is recommended for further research.
- Quality of life