Focus on the individual--quality of life assessments in oncology

Acta Oncol. 2002;41(6):507-16. doi: 10.1080/028418602320807775.


In this review we investigate how assessments of quality of life (QoL) can be used in daily clinical practice. The focus is on individualized QoL assessments, but computerized-adaptive testing and interpretation of QoL scores are also considered. Quality of life (QoL) measurements have been used relatively infrequently in clinical practice, although individualized care planning and follow-up based on QoL information may lead to better outcomes of treatment and informed and autonomous decision-making by patients. A recent approach in assessing QoL is by individualized measures, which tap QoL as defined by the individual patient. Individualized QoL instruments, such as the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL) and the Patient-Generated Index (PGI), have obvious appeal for use in clinical practice, since they incorporate topics of greatest concern to the individual patient, while also capturing their ratings and weightings. However, before general use in daily clinical practice can be recommended, some aspects of these instruments require further research, particularly issues concerning reliability, feasibility, interpretation and effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms* / psychology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires