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EQ-5D is becoming the preferred instrument to measure health-state utilities involved in health technology assessment. The objective of this study is to assess the state of EQ-5D research in musculoskeletal disorders in 8 Central and Eastern European countries and to provide a meta-analysis of EQ-5D index scores. Original research articles published in any language between Jan 2000 and Sept 2016 were included, if they reported any EQ-5D outcome from at least two musculoskeletal patients from Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, or Slovenia. Risk of bias was assessed with the Cochrane Collaboration's tool. Twenty-nine articles (5992 patients) were included on rheumatoid arthritis (n = 7), osteoporosis (n = 5), chronic pain (n = 5), osteoarthritis (n = 4), ankylosing spondylitis (n = 2), psoriatic arthritis (n = 2), total hip replacement (n = 2), and scleroderma (n = 2). Low back pain was under-represented, while studies in neck pain, systemic lupus erythematosus, gout, and childhood disorders were lacking. EQ-5D index scores were reported in 24 studies, while the version of the instrument and the value-set was not specified in 41% and 46% of the articles, respectively. Meta-analysis was performed on 24 disease states involving 6876 observation points. Intervention effect was reported in 22 subgroups, out of which risk of bias was low in 41%. This review provides recommendations to improve reporting standards of EQ-5D results and highlights potential areas for future research. Coordinated research in conditions with greatest public health impact as well as a development of a regional value-set could provide locally relevant health-state utilities that are transferable among countries within the region.

Original publication




Journal article


Rheumatol Int

Publication Date





1957 - 1977


Central and Eastern Europe, EQ-5D, Health-related quality of life, Meta-analysis, Musculoskeletal diseases, Patient reported outcomes, Chronic Pain, Connective Tissue Diseases, Cross-Sectional Studies, Europe, Female, Health Status, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Musculoskeletal Diseases, Prospective Studies, Qualitative Research, Quality of Life, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Retrospective Studies