This study was carried out to investigate the usefulness of the SEIQoL-DW to elicit information about response shifts in palliative patients. The instrument measures individual quality of life and allows respondents to choose, rate and weight important areas of life (cues). We explored patients' reconceptualizations (ie, change in cues) and their value change (ie, change of cues weights). Results of 21 patients showed what mattered to these patients and how they had adjusted to deteriorating health. There is a risk that repeated measurements do not provide all the information that is potentially present and relevant to explore response shifts. But clear instructions to interviewers, such as careful listening, probing self-evident cues such as health and family, and accurate recording of cues on the forms may overcome this risk. Future research is recommended to explore the possibilities of regular assessments to facilitate better adjustment of patients.