Does the choice of tariff matter?: A comparison of EQ-5D-5L utility scores using Chinese, UK, and Japanese tariffs on patients with psoriasis vulgaris in Central South China

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There is an increasing trend globally to develop country-specific tariffs that can theoretically better reflect population's preferences on health states for preference-based health-related quality-of-life instruments, also known as multiattribute utility instruments. This study focused on the most recently developed 5-level version of EuroQol-5 Dimension (EQ-5D) questionnaire, 1 of the world's most well-known multiattribute utility instruments, and aimed to empirically explore the agreements and known-group validities of applying the country-specific tariff versus tariffs developed from other countries using a sample of psoriasis vulgaris patients in Mainland China.

A convenience sampling framework was adopted to recruit patients diagnosed with psoriasis vulgaris from Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, China, between May 2014 and February 2015. The 5-level EuroQol-5 dimensions (EQ-5D-5L) utilities were scored by using the Chinese, Japanese, and UK tariffs. Health state utilities were compared using a range of nonparametric test. The intraclass correlation coefficients and Bland–Altman plots were used to examine the agreements among the 3 EQ-5D-5L scores. Health state utility decrements between known groups were investigated using both effect size and a regression analysis.

In all, 350 patients (aged 16 years or older) were recruited. There were significant differences among the 3 national tariff sets. Overall, 3 tariffs showed excellent agreements (intraclass correlation coefficient >0.90); however, the wide limits of agreement from the Bland–Altman plots suggest that these tariffs cannot be used interchangeably. The EQ-5D-5L scores using the Chinese-specific tariff showed the best known-group validity than the other 2 tariffs in this Chinese patient sample. The evidence from this study supports the choice of the country-specific tariff to be used in Mainland China.

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