Background: When designing a valuation study, a criterion that has been used for selecting health states for direct valuation is whether the health states are plausible for respondents, because it is assumed that inclusion of implausible states would compromise data quality. Objectives: To understand which health states are implausible, and how their values differ from the values of the plausible counterparts. Methods: One thousand six hundred Chinese students valued all 3125 health states of the 5-level EuroQol 5-dimensional questionnaire (EQ5D-5L) using the EuroQol visual analogue scale. Of these, 890 students also indicated whether each valued state was implausible or not using a binary scale. Additional qualitative interviews were conducted concerning the thought processes involved in the valuation of implausible states. We calculated an implausible score for each state. Then we examined the effect of implausibility on visual analogue scale values by fitting 2 regression models. Two independent researchers analyzed the qualitative transcripts using thematic analysis. Results: Approximately 30% of the EQ-5D-5L health states were rated as implausible by at least 50% of the respondents, but there was substantial heterogeneity in views about the plausibility of EQ5D-5L states. Health states with dimensions that conflicted were more likely to be judged as implausible states. Health states that respondents deemed as implausible were more difficult to value and had lower values. Conclusions: When respondents found the EQ-5D states to be implausible, they tended to give them lower values. Nevertheless, completely excluding implausible states from a valuation study is not possible because there is a lack of agreement among respondents on which states are implausible

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Keywords EQ-5D-5L, implausible health state, qualitative study, valuation
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Journal Value in Health
Yang, Z, Feng, Z, van Busschbach, J.J, Stolk, E.A, & Luo, N. (2019). How Prevalent Are Implausible EQ-5D-5L Health States and How Do They Affect Valuation? A Study Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence. Value in Health. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2018.12.008