The improvement of aspects of a patient's quality of life may be as important as prolonging survival in evaluating clinical trials of heart failure. The purpose of this study was to analyze the psychometric properties of the baseline measures from the quality-of-life substudy from the Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD) trial. The measures included the 6-Minute Walk Test, Dyspnea Scale, Living with Heart Failure, Physical Limitations, Psychologic Distress and Health Perceptions, as reported by both patients and staff. Cognitive functioning, such as Vocabulary, Digit Span and Trails Making, was also assessed. Patients were classified as New York Heart Association class I (n = 158) versus II or III (n = 150). The internal consistencies (i.e., reliabilities) of the self-report measures were high, except for the Health Perceptions of Class II or III patients. Reliability of the SOLVD quality-of-life battery was confirmed by significantly better life quality among New York Heart Association class I patients versus class II or III patients combined on the Walk Test, Physical Limitations, Dyspnea, Living with Heart Failure, Psychologic Distress and staff perceptions of patient health. In accordance with prior studies, the measures were uncorrelated with left ventricular ejection fraction. By demonstrating strong internal consistencies, reliability based on physician reports, and independence of ejection fraction levels, use of this quality-of-life assessment battery in this and other clinical trials of compromised ventricular functioning is supported.