The EQ-5D comprises five dimensions of health: mobility, ability to self-care, ability to undertake usual activities, pain and discomfort, and anxiety and depression.


The original version of EQ-5D allows respondents to indicate the degree of impairment on each dimension according to three levels (no problems, some problems, extreme problems). This is the EQ-5D-3L.

A new version of the instrument, EQ-5D-5L, includes five levels of severity for each dimension (no problems, slight problems, moderate problems, severe problems, and extreme problems).

DSU reports

This report considers how using 5L instead of 3L affects the results of economic evaluations, using case studies of economic models from NICE’s Technology Appraisals programme.

Comparing the EQ-5D-3L and 5L versions. What are the implications for model-based cost effectiveness estimates? (PDF, 1.2MB) (August 2018)

This report describes and assesses different options for linking evidence (“mapping”) from 3L to 5L and vice versa.

Methods for mapping between the EQ-5D-5L and the 3L for technology appraisal (PDF, 1.1MB) (July 2017)

This report is intended to provide information on how using 5L instead of 3L is likely to affect the results of economic evaluations, and highlight the implications of the findings for NICE.

Comparing the EQ-5D-3L and 5L versions. What are the implications for cost-effectiveness estimates? (PDF, 1.9MB) (March 2017)

Journal articles

EQ5DMAP: A command for mapping between 3-level and 5-level EQ-5D (August 2018). To install the command within Stata use "ssc install eq5dmap".

The Impact of Moving from EQ-5D-3L to -5L in NICE Technology Appraisals (August 2018)

EQ-5D-5L versus EQ-5D-3L: The Impact on Cost-Effectiveness in the United Kingdom (October 2017)

Related journals

Econometric modelling of multiple self-reports of health states: The switch from EQ-5D-3L to EQ-5D-5L in evaluating drug therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (September 2017)


ISPOR 2017, Glasgow – Comparing 3L and 5L EQ-5D (PDF, 966KB), Professor Allan Wailoo

Workshop “EQ-5D. Is NICE ready for the next level?”

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