Comparing the EQ-5D-3L anxiety or depression domain to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale to identify anxiety or depression after stroke

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Background: Anxiety and depression are common post-stroke and impact quality-of-life (QoL). The EQ-5D three-level version (EQ-5D-3L) is increasingly used to routinely measure health-related QoL in stroke populations, but its potential value for detecting anxiety or depression is uncertain. We sought to examine the agreement and convergent validity of the EQ-5D-3L anxiety or depression domain in survivors of stroke. Methods: Cross-sectional survey data obtained from participants in the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR) between 90 and 180 days after stroke were used. Correlation, sensitivity, specificity, and the area under the curve were calculated for the EQ-5D-3L anxiety or depression domain against the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS, reference standard), which has been validated as a screening measure following stroke. Results: Data were obtained from 245 respondents (median time post-stroke 143 days), median age 74 years; 42% female. Nearly 50% reported problems (43% moderate; 7% extreme) in the EQ-5D-3L anxiety or depression domain. The median HADS-Anxiety score was 6 (Q1:3, Q3:9), and the median HADS-Depression score was 5 (Q1:2, Q3:9). The EQ-5D-3L anxiety or depression scores were strongly correlated (r = 0.58) with scores of the HADS-Anxiety, but moderately correlated with HADS-Depression (r = 0.37), and combined HADS-Anxiety or HADS-Depression (r = 0.46). The EQ-5D-3L anxiety or depression domain had greater sensitivity and specificity in identifying cases with anxiety than in identifying depressive symptoms in survivors of stroke. Conclusions: The EQ-5D-3L appears to have value as a population level indicator of anxiety or depression following stroke. Further validation against “gold standard” clinical assessment is required for clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-155
Number of pages10
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2022


  • Anxiety
  • depression
  • mass screening
  • registries
  • sensitivity
  • specificity

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