Whereas several clinical endpoints in monitoring the response to treatment in patients with Huntington's disease (HD) have been explored, there has been a paucity of research in the quality of life in such patients. The aim of this study was to validate the use of two generic health-related quality of life instruments (the Short Form 36 health survey questionnaire [SF-36] and the Sickness Impact Profile [SIP]) and to evaluate their psychometric properties. We found that both instruments demonstrated acceptable convergent validity and reliability for patients and carers. However, there was an advantage in using the SF-36 because of its more robust construct validity and test-retest reliability; furthermore, motor symptoms appeared to influence some strictly nonmotor dimensions of the SIP. On a pragmatic level, the SF-36 is shorter and quicker to administer and, therefore, easier for patients at various stages of the disease to complete. Thus, the SF-36 would appear to be the recommended instrument of choice for patients with HD and their carers, although further work needs to be done to investigate the sensitivity of this instrument longitudinally.