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Riecke, Franziska; Bauer, Leandra; Polzer, Hans; Baumbach, Sebastian Felix; Neuerburg, Carl; Böcker, Wolfgang; Grill, Eva; Saller, Maximilian Michael (2024): Effects of medical interventions on health-related quality of life in chronic disease – systematic review and meta-analysis of the 19 most common diagnoses. Frontiers in Public Health, 12: 1313685. ISSN 2296-2565

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The demographic shift leads to a tremendous increase in age-related diseases, which are often chronic. Therefore, a focus of chronic disease management should be set on the maintenance or even improvement of the patients’ quality of life (QoL). One indicator to objectively measure QoL is the EQ-5D questionnaire, which was validated in a disease- and world region-specific manner. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the QoL across the most frequent chronic diseases that utilized the EQ-5D and performed a disease-specific meta-analysis for treatment-dependent QoL improvement.

Materials and methods

The most common chronic disease in Germany were identified by their ICD-10 codes, followed by a systematic literature review of these ICD-10 codes and the EQ-5D index values. Finally, out of 10,016 independently -screened studies by two persons, 538 studies were included in the systematic review and 216 studies in the meta-analysis, respectively.


We found significant medium to large effect sizes of treatment effects, i.e., effect size >0.5, in musculoskeletal conditions with the exception of fractures, for chronic depression and for stroke. The effect size did not differ significantly from zero for breast and lung cancer and were significantly negative for fractures.


Our analysis showed a large variation between baseline and post-treatment scores on the EQ-5D health index, depending on the health condition. We found large gains in health-related quality of life mainly for interventions for musculoskeletal disease.

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