COMPARISON ::: Quality of Life Scales
scale characteristics and quality framework scores


Quality of Life scales include psychological and social wellbeing and are an alternative to using these measures. To devise a measure of quality of life that is both reliable and valid, a broad range of potentially independent domains covering all important aspects of quality of life is necessary. A balance between detail and length of assessment will, therefore, always be important to consider when selecting between different QOL assessments. A brief assessment of quality of life is appropriate, for example, in routine clinical work, large scale epidemiological studies and in clinical trials. !

EQ5D ::: Euroqol Five Dimensions  designed for research especially economic evaluations with disparate disorders

The EuroQol Group is an international, multidisciplinary network of researchers established in 1987 and devoted to the measurement of health status. EQ-5D provides a simple, generic measure of health for clinical and economic appraisal. Applicable to a wide range of health conditions and treatments, it provides a simple descriptive profile and a single index value for health status. The EQ-5D descriptive profile comprises 5 dimensions: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. The EQ-VAS records the respondent’s self-rated health on a vertical, visual analogue scale where the endpoints are labelled ‘Best imaginable health state’ and ‘Worst imaginable health state’. This information can be used as a quantitative measure of health outcome as judged by the individual respondents. Timeframe :: The timeframe is 'today'. Scoring :: Each dimension has 3 levels: 1= no problems, 2= some problems, 3= severe problems - it should be noted that the numerals 1-3 have no arithmetic properties and should not be used as a cardinal score. The scores for the five dimensions can be combined into a single index value, 0-1, describing the respondent’s health state - this requires a calculation best done by computer. The visual analogue scale is scored 0-100. Completion time :: Very brief. Cut-off score :: Extensive normative data are available. Visit the EuroQol website to determine the best comparators for the intended use


WHOQOL-BREF ::: WHO Quality of Life Brief  designed for research or clinical practice with focus on QoL

The WHOQOL-BREF was derived from data collected for the WHOQOL-100. It produces scores for four domains related to quality of life: physical health (7 items), psychological health (6 items), social relationships (3 items) and environment (8 items). After a few demographic questions the self-administered WHOQOL-BREF contains 26 items consisting of 24 facets, Q3-Q26, from the original WHOQOL-100 plus two general questions, Q1-Q2, on overall quality of life and general health.  The WHOQOL-BREF user manual includes instructions for manual scoring and for creating an SPSS syntax file to score raw data. Timeframe :: The last 14 days. Scoring :: Scoring of the WHOQOL-BREF is in sections on “how good”, “how satisfied”, “how completely”, “how often” or “how much” the participant felt in the last 2 weeks and is rated on a 5-point Likert scale scored 1-5. Q3, Q4, Q26 are reverse scored. Domain scores, Q3-Q26, are calculated by multiplying the mean score for all items included in each domain by x4 in order to make them comparable to WHOQOL-100 scores. Therefore, potential scores for each domain range from 4 to 20, with higher scores indicating better QOL. Completion time :: Not stated. Cut-off score :: Extensive normative data are available. Visit the EuroQol website to determine the best comparators for the intended use


SF12 & SF20 ::: Short Form Health Survey  designed for general outcome measurement especially for mental health problems

The SF12 was derived from the SF36 which takes 5-10 minutes to complete. So, the SF-12 is a brief alternative to the SF-36, especially where the focus is on overall physical and mental health outcomes. The SF-12 contains a subset of 12 items from the SF-36, including one or two items from each of the eight SF36 subscales. Two items are included from the Physical Functioning and Mental Health scales because these scales have been shown best to predict physical and mental health; two items each are also included from both Role Functioning scales, because these are relatively coarse scales. One item each is included from the remaining four scales. Information from all 12 items is used to construct physical and mental component summary measures. The copyright for the SF20 is with the RAND corporation and the scale can be freely used whereas a licence is required for the SF12, however, publications on development of the SF20 have not been located. Timeframe :: Timeframe for some items is 'today' and for others the last 4 weeks. Scoring :: The question format is variable with responses in Yes/No and Likert scale formats. There are different ways of scoring which give weightings to each item. Scoring is best done by computer - files are available for both STATA and SPSS to do this. Completion time :: Not specified. Cut-off score :: Documentation not located


PSWS ::: Psycho Social Wellbeing Scale designed for general programme evaluation especially for mental health problems

The twelve items that comprise the Psycho Social Wellbeing Scale are practitioner rated. Items cover twelve problem areas: Q1 cognitive functioning, Q2 emotional functioning, Q3 impulse control, Q4 substance abuse, Q5 coping skills, Q6 health, Q7 recreational activities, Q8 living environment, Q9 immediate social network, Q10 extended social network, Q11 activities of daily living and Q12 work satisfaction. In addition to face-to-face interview, practitioners use multiple sources of data (e.g., medical records, colleagues observations, reports of significant others) to make summary judgements on each of the problem areas. Timeframe :: The last 30 days. Scoring :: All 12 items are rated by practitioners on a five-point scale: 5= “excellent"  4= "good"  3= "marginal"  2= "impaired"  1= "poor". The psychological items are Q1, Q2, Q3, Q5; the social items are Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10; each subscale scored 4-20. Stand alone items are Q4, substance use, and Q6, Q11, Q12. Completion time :: Not specified. Cut-off score :: No cut-off scores have been designated, however, in the validation clinical sample scores for both subscales were >9 and for the stand alone items >7.