Purpose – The purpose of this article is to discuss the value of health‐related quality of life (HR‐QOL) measurement and describe its development with a few examples. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology is a literature review of various articles published in the last 25 years on health‐related quality of life. Findings – HR‐QOL tools are health status instruments, which are utilized to assess the changes in the health status of patients. These surveys are of increasingly importance as healthcare providers are challenged to justify treatment approaches and rationale for any intervention. Objective criteria can be used to determine whether there is clinical evidence of disease. However, the impact of disease on the individual's life is not included in such a clinical assessment. The use of validated and reliable health instruments is directed at measuring this impact in a reproducible and valid fashion. In patient‐centred research, “experimental” conditions are constantly changing because human beings with values, feelings, perspectives and social relationships are being treated. It is especially important to use valid measurement tools when assessing these impacts. Originality/value – This article is written from the authors' own experience and knowledge and adds those benefits to the literature already available.
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 13, 2008
Keywords: Personal health; Quality of life; Instruments; Health services
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