Variations in population health status

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7158.601a (Published 29 August 1998)
Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:601.2

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Non-response rates were not reported

  1. Bowling Ann
  1. University College London Medical School, Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education (CHIME), Whittington Hospital Campus, London N19 5NF
  2. Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York YO1 5DD

    EDITOR—Kind et al reported the results of a survey which aimed to measure the health of a representative sample of the population of the United Kingdom by using the EuroQoL EQ-5D questionnaire.1 The authors concluded that the instrument “is a practical way of measuring the health of a population and of detecting differences in subgroups of the population” and that “the results are indicative of the average health status in the general population of the United Kingdom … living in the community.” They do not, however, report the non-response rates of their survey.

    We are informed that the respondents were representative of the general population in respect of age, sex, and social class. They may well have a similar distribution of these characteristics to the general population, but this does not make their views of their health status representative. Without knowing the …

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