Quality of life among hazardous and harmful drinkers: EQ-5D over a 1-year follow-up period

Holly N Essex, Ian R White, Zarnie Khadjesari, Stuart Linke, Jim McCambridge, Elizabeth Murray, Steve Parrott, Christine Godfrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To investigate the ability of the EQ-5D to discriminate between levels of alcohol risk in a large sample of hazardous and harmful drinkers, and to explore the relationship between transitions between alcohol risk levels and changes in EQ-5D up to 12 months. 

METHODS: This is a web-based randomised controlled trial evaluating a novel intervention for hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption. EQ-5D scores were compared among groups of drinkers at baseline (low/medium/high risk according to self-reported past week alcohol consumption), and changes in EQ-5D scores were estimated as a function of changes in alcohol consumption level. 

RESULTS: Baseline EQ-5D scores were dominated by problems with anxiety/depression, which increased with alcohol risk level, whilst high-risk drinkers also experienced more problems with physical HRQoL dimensions. However, the tool demonstrated a considerable ceiling effect. At follow-up, despite considerable reductions in alcohol consumption across the sample, significant changes in aggregated EQ-5D index scores were only observed for high-risk drinkers at baseline who reduced their drinking, with small improvements (0.04-0.06) compared to those who did not reduce. 

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the three-option EQ-5D may not be an optimal primary end point for measuring clinical and cost-effectiveness in randomised controlled trials of interventions among hazardous and harmful alcohol users, although further testing of the sensitivity of the tool in these populations is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-743
Number of pages11
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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