Quality of life



Contact: Jan Poppelaars , Natasja van Schoor

To measure quality of life in older people, the EuroQol was assessed. The EuroQol is a generic quality of life instrument. This means that it can be used for patients with different diseases. An example of a study in which the EuroQol was used is the study of Oleksik et al. (1). An advantage of a generic quality of life instrument is that it enables comparison between different studies and different study populations. In addition, the EuroQol is often used in cost studies.

Measurement instruments in LASA
The questionnaire consists of five questions, each representing one domain: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, anxiety/depression. The answer options differ between the questions, but can roughly be divided into: no problems, some problems, extreme problems. In addition, self-rated health is scored on a visual analogue scale (EQ VAS).

Data on the EuroQol are obtained by a self-administered questionnaire from LASA cycle E to I (see Table below). LASA135 includes the scores on the five questions and the VAS. LASA335 includes the index scores (see also sub 3).

In observational population studies, three applications of the EuroQol are suggested:

  1. Descriptive system
  2. EQ VAS
  3. Index scores.(2)

(sub 1) The descriptive system includes, for example, reporting the frequency of persons with no problems, some problems and extreme problems per domain.

(sub 2) The EQ VAS can be reported as a mean score (and standard deviation), or mean and median scores (mean score should always be reported).

(sub 3) Health states defined by the 5-dimensional descriptive system can be converted into a weighted health state index by applying scores from ‘value sets’ elicited from general population samples. If a person responds e.g. in the following way on the five questions of the EuroQol: Q1: 1, Q2: 2, Q3: 3, Q4: 2, Q4: 1, the health state is 12321. The index scores can be presented in similar ways to the EQ VAS scores. In a longitudinal design, a figure could be more informative (2). Two different methods were used to calculate index-scores in LASA:

  1. Dutch VAS-based valuation (*QEQIXNL) (3)
  2. English Time Trade Off valuation (*QEQIXUK) (4)

Syntaxes (as applied in cycle E) are enclosed (pdf).

LASAE135 / LASAF135 / LASAG135 / LASAH135 / LAS3B135 / LASAI135 (self-administered questionnaire, in Dutch)

Variable information
LASAE135 / LASAF135 / LASAG135 / LASAH135 / LAS3B135 / LASAI135;
LASAE335 / LASAF335 / LASAG335 / LASAH335 / LAS3B335 / LASAI335 (scale scores)

Availability of information per wave1:

























EuroQol scaled












1 More information about the LASA data collection waves is available on:

*  2B=baseline second cohort;
    3B=baseline third cohort;
    MB=migrants: baseline first cohort (Under Construction);
    I=Under Construction

Sa=data was collected in self-administered questionnaire

Previous use in LASA
In a study by Van Schoor et al. (2004), the EuroQol was used to assess quality of life. Severe osteoporosis of the vertebrae, cardiac disease, peripheral arterial disease and diabetes mellitus significantly reduce the quality of life in the general population, after adjustment for age, sex and other chronic diseases.

  • van Schoor NM, Smit JH, Twisk JW, Lips P. Impact of vertebral deformities, osteoarthritis, and other chronic diseases on quality of life: a population-based study. Osteoporos Int 2005; 16: 749-56.


  1. Oleksik A, Lips P, Dawson A, et al. Health-related quality of life in postmenopausal women with low BMD with or without prevalent vertebral fractures. J Bone Miner Res. 2000;15:1384-92.
  2. Brooks R, Rabin R , de Charro F, Editors. The Measurement and Valuation of Health Status Using EQ-5D: A European Perspective. Kluwer Academic Publishers; 2003.
  3. Busschbach JJ, McDonnell J, Essink-Bot ML, van Hout BA. Estimating parametric relationships between health description and health valuation with an application to the EuroQol EQ-5D. J Health Economics. 1999;18:551-71.
  4. Dolan P. Modeling valuations for EuroQol health states. Med Care. 1997;35:1095-108.
  5. Lamers LM, Stalmeier PF, McDonnell J, Krabbe PF, van Busschbach JJ (2005) [Measuring the quality of life in economic evaluations: the Dutch EQ-5D tariff]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd, 149, 1574-1578.