Comparing the measurement equivalence of EQ-5D-5L across different modes of administration

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 2015, 13 (1)
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© 2015 Mulhern et al. Background: Interest in collecting Patient Reported Outcomes using electronic methods such as mobile phones has increased in recent years. However there is debate about the level of measurement equivalence between the traditional paper and newer electronic modes. Information about the acceptability of the electronic versions to respondents is also required. The aim of this study is to compare the equivalence of delivering a widely used generic measure of health status (EQ-5D-5L) across two administration modes (paper and mobile phone). Methods: Respondents from a research cohort of people in South Yorkshire were identified, and randomly allocated to one of two administration modes (paper vs. mobile phone) based on stratifications for age and gender (and across a range of self-reported health conditions). A parallel group design was used where each respondent only completed EQ-5D-5L using one of the modes. In total, 70 respondents completed the measure in the mobile phone arm, and 66 completed the standard paper version. Follow up usability questions were also included to assess the acceptability of the mobile version of EQ-5D-5L. Measurement equivalence was compared at the dimension, utility score and visual analogue scale level using chi square analysis and ANOVA, and by comparing mean differences to an estimated minimally important difference value. Results: Response rates were higher in the mobile arm. The mean EQ-5D-5L utility and VAS scores, and the frequency of respondents endorsing individual EQ-5D-5L dimension response levels did not significantly differ across the administration modes. The majority of the mobile arm agreed that the mobile version of EQ-5D-5L was easy to complete, and that the phone was easy to use, and that they would complete mobile health measures again. Conclusions: Completing health status measures such as EQ-5D using mobile phones produces equivalent results to more traditional methods, but with added benefits (for example lessening the burden of data entry). Respondents are positive towards completing questionnaires using these methods. The results provide evidence that electronic measures are valid for use to collect data in a range of settings including clinical trials, routine care, and in health diary settings.
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