Quality-of-Life in the Swedish general population during Covid-19 – based on measurement pre- and post pandemic outbreak

Persson U, Olofsson S, Gu N Y, Gong C L, Jiao X and Hay J

The outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 (Corona Virus) has resulted in international and national strategies, such as social distancing and travel bans, which have mitigated the health loss due to the pandemic but also given rise to a severe economic crisis. Both factors, the pandemic, and the economic crisis, can be expected to have an impact on the quality-of-life of the population. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact on the quality-of-life of the Swedish adult population during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A web-based survey was sent to randomised samples of the adult Swedish population before the outbreak of the pandemic in Sweden in February 2020 (n=1,016) and during the outbreak of the pandemic in Sweden in April 2020 (n=1,003). Quality-of-life was measured using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the EQ-5D-5L (April survey only). The result from another study (Burström et al. 2020) was used as a baseline for the EQ-5D-5L measurement.

The result of the survey shows a reduction in average quality-of-life between February and April 2020 in the adult Swedish population of 0.07 based on VAS and 0.042 based on the EQ-5D-5L. The loss in quality-of-life appears to be primarily driven by economic worry. The total QALY loss during April 2020 amounts to around 29,000 QALYs based on the EQ-5D-5L measurement and around 42,000 QALYs based on the VAS measurement. The result of this study supports a wide public health perspective that consider health losses both as a consequence of the pandemic itself and as a consequence of the mitigation strategies.

For questions please reach out to Research Manager Sara Olofsson 

Sara Olofsson participated in the webinar Quality of life in the Swedish population during the COVID-19 pandemic hosted by ISPOR Karolinska Institutet Chapter the 30 November 2020. ISPOR KI Chapter is part of the ISPOR Student Network and aim to spread knowledge about health economics and outcomes research.


IHE Report 2020:7, Lund: IHE, Sweden, 2020.