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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


MARTIN-FERNANDEZ, Jesús et al. Explaining differences in perceived health-related quality of life: a study within the Spanish population. Gac Sanit [online]. 2018, vol.32, n.5, pp.447-453.  Epub Dec 07, 2020. ISSN 0213-9111.


To assess the burden of several determinants on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and to study its heterogeneity among the different Spanish regions.


Cross-sectional study. Data were obtained from the Spanish National Health Survey (2012), and HRQOL was measured using the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire (utility and visual analogue scale -VAS- scores). Demographic variables, physical health condition, social variables, mental health status, and lifestyle were also analysed. Tobit regression models were employed to study the relationships between expressed HRQOL and personal characteristics.


A total of 20,979 surveys were obtained. Of them, 62.4% expressed a utility score of 1, corresponding to perfect health (95%CI: 61.8%-63.2%), and 54.2% showed VAS scores ≥80 (95%CI: 53.5%-54.9%). HRQOL was mainly described as a function of age, chronic limitation in daily activities, and mental health status. Belonging to a higher-class strata and physical activity were related to better self-perceived HRQOL. Ageing worsened perceived HRQOL, but did not influence its determinants, and differences in HRQOL by regions were also not significant after model adjustment.


HRQOL perception in the Spanish population varied slightly depending on the measure used (utilities index or VAS). Age, chronic limitations in daily life, and mental health status best explained the variability in perception, and no meaningful differences in HRQOL perception among regions were found after adjustment.

Keywords : Quality of life; Health status; Population characteristics; Public health.

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