1. Introduction

  1. Peter M. Fayers1,2 and
  2. David Machin3,4

Published Online: 8 MAR 2002

DOI: 10.1002/0470846283.ch1

Quality of Life: Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation

Quality of Life: Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation

How to Cite

Fayers, P. M. and Machin, D. (2000) Introduction, in Quality of Life: Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/0470846283.ch1

Author Information

  1. 1

    Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, London, UK

  2. 2

    Unit of Applied Clinical Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

  3. 3

    NMRC Clinical Trials & Epidemiology Research Unit, Singapore

  4. 4

    School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 MAR 2002
  2. Published Print: 18 APR 2000

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471968610

Online ISBN: 9780470846285



  • quality of life;
  • curative intent;
  • palliative intent;
  • generic instruments;
  • disease-specific instruments;
  • decision making;
  • symptom relief;
  • rehabilitation;
  • patient


Definitions of QoL are controversial. Different instruments use different definitions, and frequently no specific model for QoL is stated formally. There is a wide range of QoL instruments available, although this range is likely to be reduced once the purpose of evaluating QoL is considered. In a clinical trial setting, the disease area and therapies being evaluated will usually limit the choice. Common features of instruments are what the patients themselves are asked, there are frequently several subscales, the scales are often based upon multiple items, and the scales represent constructs that cannot be measured directly.