Purpose The measurement properties of the EQ-5D have not been explored for patients with traumatic limb injuries. The purpose of this study was to examine the construct validity, predictive validity, and responsiveness of the EQ-5D in patients with traumatic limb injuries. Methods A consecutive cohort of 1,167 patients was assessed with the EQ-5D and the World Health Organization Quality of Life instrument (WHOQOL-BREF) at baseline while the patients were hospitalized because of the injury, and the patients were followed up at 3 months (1,003 patients), 6 months (1,010 patients), and 12 months (987 patients) after injury via telephone interview. Results The utility and visual analogue scale (VAS) scores of the EQ-5D had moderate to high association with the physical and psychological domains and the two general questions (overall QOL and overall health) of the WHOQOL-BREF at all time points except baseline (Pearson’s correlation coefficient >0.3), but the EQ-5D profiles were weakly associated with the social and environment domains of the WHOQOL-BREF (absolute value of Spearman’s correlation coefficient <0.3). These results indicate that the EQ-5D has satisfactory construct validity. The utility and VAS scores of the EQ-5D at 3 and 6 months after injury can predict (with moderate to large relationships) the four domains and two general questions of the WHOQOL-BREF administered at 12 months after injury. The responsiveness of the utility and VAS of the EQ-5D were high (effect sizes >0.9) at 0–3, 0–6, and 0–12 months after injury. Conclusions The EQ-5D has sufficient construct validity, predictive validity, and responsiveness, and also provides evidence for using the utility of the EQ-5D for cost-utility analyses of patients with traumatic limb injuries in the future.
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