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Measuring health-related quality of life of older people with frailty receiving acute care: feasibility and psychometric performance of the EuroQol EQ-5D.

BMC Emergency Medicine 2023 November 20
BACKGROUND: Although outcome goals for acute healthcare among older people living with frailty often include Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and other patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), current quality metrics usually focus on waiting times and survival. Lay and patient review have identified the EuroQol EQ-5D as a candidate measure for this setting. This research appraised the EQ-5D for feasibility, psychometric performance, and respondents' outcomes in the acute frailty setting.

METHODS: People aged 65 + with Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) 5-8 were recruited from eight UK hospitals' emergency care and acute admissions settings. They completed the five-level EQ-5D and the EQ-VAS. Feasibility was assessed with completion times and completeness. For reliability, response distributions and internal consistency were analysed. Finally, EQ-Index values were compared with demographic characteristics and service outcomes for construct validity.

RESULTS: The 232 participants were aged 65-102. 38% responded in emergency departments and 62% in admissions wards. Median completion time was 12 (IQR, 11) minutes. 98% responses were complete. EQ-5D had acceptable response distribution (SD 1.1-1.3) and internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha 0.69). EQ-VAS demonstrated a midpoint response pattern. Median EQ-Index was 0.574 (IQR, 0.410) and was related positively with increasing age (p = 0.010) and negatively with CFS (p < 0.001). Participants with higher CFS had more frequent problems with mobility, self-care, and usual activities.

CONCLUSIONS: Administration of the EQ-5D was feasible in these emergency and acute frailty care settings. EQ-5D had acceptable properties, while EQ-VAS appeared problematic. Participants with more severe frailty had also poorer HRQoL.

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