Electronic collection of health-related quality of life data: validity, time benefits, and patient preference

Qual Life Res. 2001;10(1):15-22. doi: 10.1023/a:1016740312904.


This study sought to validate World Wide Web-compliant software tools used to collect health-related quality of life (HRQOL) data, relative to pencil-and-paper collection. The RAND-36 general health survey and the Seattle Angina questionnaire (SAQ), a disease-specific functional status measure for patients with coronary artery disease, were each administered in paper and electronic format to 55 consecutive patients visiting the cardiology outpatient clinic of a public hospital. All eight sub-scale scores of the RAND-36 (interclass correlation coefficient range = 0.54-0.75, p < 0.01) and all five domains of the SAQ (interclass correlation coefficient range = 0.84-0.90, p < 0.01) collected using the software were significantly correlated with those collected using the paper version of questionnaires. Computer literacy, educational level, age, sex, and race were not significantly associated with the ability to successfully complete the computer-assisted questionnaire. Eighty-two percent of patients preferred the computer-assisted administration to paper, and 89% reported that they would feel comfortable using the software in the future without any technical assistance. This pilot study suggests that HRQOL measures can be reliably collected using software operating over the World Wide Web. Data collected in this manner are valid and of comparable quality to self-reported, HRQOL data obtained via paper survey.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results