Disease-specific quality of life: is it one construct?

Qual Life Res. 1998 Feb;7(2):135-42. doi: 10.1023/a:1008805409794.


The objective of this study was to examine the structure of disease-specific quality of life (QoL). Models of QoL with either one overall construct or more constructs were tested and the relationships (factor loadings) between the constructs and dimensions were established, using structural equation modelling. The models were tested over time to assess the stability of the structure. To generalize the results further, disease-specific questionnaires of two very different chronic diseases have been compared: inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Questionnaires were mailed in 1994 and a repeated measurement was conducted in 1995. Data were obtained from 222 IBD patients and 235 PD patients. The results show that for both diseases, disease-specific QoL can be considered as one construct. The stability over time of the structure of the QoL models was satisfactory. In PD the factor loadings between the dimensions and QoL were within a small range and remained the same over time, while in IBD, the factor loadings had a larger range and fluctuated more. These results imply that one meaningful sum score can be obtained from these questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Quality of Life*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires