Health-related quality of life (HRQL) assessment is an important measure of the impact of the disease, effect of treatment and other variables affecting people's lives. The review focused on the assessment of HRQL in patient with coronary heart disease (CHD) by appropriate tools. Although no consensus exists about the precise definition of HRQL, a plethora of instruments have been developed to assess it. Two broad types - generic and disease-specific - have been developed but there is some debate about their relative merits. There is a wide selection of instruments available but choice should be based on a careful consideration of an instrument's psychometric properties, the breadth and depth with which it addresses relevant health domains and the specific clinical or research purpose for which it is intended.