Methods and problems in measuring quality of life

Support Care Cancer. 1995 Jan;3(1):11-22. doi: 10.1007/BF00343916.


The US health-care transition demands increased accountability for medical care. This has contributed to increased interest in documenting valued medical outcomes, including improvements in health-related quality of life and treatment satisfaction. These data can only be obtained validly by asking patients directly about their current health state, perception of well-being, and satisfaction with care. A core set of well-validated instruments have been developed to measure health-related quality of life in patients with cancer. As these are employed with increasing frequency, rigorous quality assurance of data collection is critical. Because of the necessity of quality control, patient-reported data collection can be labor-intensive and prohibitively costly. However, time and cost-saving methods, such as centralized telephone survey methods or on-site direct data entry via interactive computer, can guarantee high-quality data while minimizing costs. Justification of the need for these methods and a brief description are provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Health Services Research / methods
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology
  • Neoplasms / rehabilitation
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Quality of Life*
  • United States