Measuring quality of life in Britain: introducing the WHOQOL-100

J Psychosom Res. 1999 Nov;47(5):449-59. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(99)00051-3.


Quality of life is an important outcome measure in the evaluation of treatments for a range of chronic physical and psychological disorders. The psychometric properties of a new British quality-of-life instrument-the WHOQOL-100--are presented, as part of an international project to create a multilingual, multidimensional profile for cross-cultural use. The WHOQOL was completed by an adult sample (N = 320) of well people and patients attending GP surgeries and out-patient clinics and from inpatient wards. The sick represented 16 disease categories and all were selected for age, gender, and disease severity. The levels of quality of life of different disease groups and sociodemographic categories are reported. The presence or absence of positive feelings provides the best single predictor of quality of life in Britain today, and this improves when supplemented by information about mobility and energy. The scores of the scale discriminate well between sick and well people and concur with reported health status. The concept of quality of life covering 25 facets (hierarchically organized within six domains) was largely confirmed by mapping intercorrelations. The WHOQOL-100 shows excellent overall internal consistency reliability and can be used with individuals. This level of reliability extends to all domains and patient subgroups. Seven UK national items were also assessed for inclusion. The results show that WHOQOL-100 promises to be a comprehensive profile for generic use in the evaluation of contemporary health care.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • United Kingdom