Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a critical issue in the treatment of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The variety of symptoms, comorbidities, and treatments of ESRD over the course of its chronic disease trajectory necessitate comprehensive assessment of the impact of interventions on HRQOL. A literature review of ESRD HRQOL studies was performed to provide an overview of the instruments used and to provide recommendations for HRQOL assessment in future studies. Instruments were classified based on the health domains they assess and whether they are generic or disease targeted. The instruments were judged in terms of their comprehensiveness, reliability, and validity.