Health-related quality of life measurement in pediatric clinical practice: an appraisal and precept for future research and application

Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2005 May 16:3:34. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-3-34.


Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measurement has emerged as an important health outcome in clinical trials, clinical practice improvement strategies, and healthcare services research and evaluation. HRQOL measures are also increasingly proposed for use in clinical practice settings to inform treatment decisions. In settings where HRQOL measures have been utilized with adults, physicians report such measures as useful, some physicians alter their treatment based on patient reports on such instruments, and patients themselves generally feel the instruments to be helpful. However, there is a dearth of studies evaluating the clinical utility of HRQOL measurement in pediatric clinical practice. This paper provides an updated review of the literature and proposes a precept governing the application of pediatric HRQOL measurement in pediatric clinical practice. Utilizing HRQOL measurement in pediatric healthcare settings can facilitate patient-physician communication, improve patient/parent satisfaction, identify hidden morbidities, and assist in clinical decision-making. Demonstrating the utility of pediatric HRQOL measurement in identifying children with the greatest needs, while simultaneously demonstrating the cost advantages of providing timely, targeted interventions to address those needs, may ultimately provide the driving force for incorporating HRQOL measurement in pediatric clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / standards*
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Proxy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sickness Impact Profile*