The importance of measuring health outcomes such as functional status and quality of life has increased with the greater emphasis on efficiency and on judgements of clinical effectiveness of therapies for patients with chronic disease. One measure of health status, the quality of well-being (QWB), has received significant attention as a health policy model because it quantifies health on a scale ranging from "zero" (death) to "one" (optimal health). The scale is based on weights (values) that were derived by having several thousand individuals in the general population rate scenarios in which a patient is described in terms of mobility, physical activity, social activity, and major symptom or problem. The present study was undertaken to determine if a disease-specific population composed of patients with moderate and moderately severe rheumatoid arthritis who were participating in a national multicenter trial of a new oral therapeutic agent, would rank scenarios similarly to the general population sample. In this study, close agreement was found between the weights obtained from the general population sample and the weights obtained from the sample of rheumatoid arthritic patients (R = 0.937). The investigators believe that the study supports the use of the original general population weights and suggest that the index may be used for populations with a specific condition as well as for general populations.