5. Factor Analysis

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

Published Online: 8 MAR 2002

DOI: 10.1002/0470846283.ch5

Quality of Life: Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation

Quality of Life: Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation

How to Cite

Fayers, P. M. and Machin, D. (2000) Factor Analysis, in Quality of Life: Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/0470846283.ch5

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



  • correlation patterns;
  • path diagrams;
  • factor analysis;
  • eigenvalues;
  • explained variance;
  • scale validation;
  • scale development;
  • scale scoring;
  • orthogonal rotation;
  • oblique axes


Factor analysis is a powerful technique for exploring the item correlations during scale validation. Factor analysis techniques are illustrated with a detailed example of its application to the HADS, showing interpretation of the typical output that is obtained from most computer packages. The reasons for using factor analysis in scale development and scale validation are discussed and the limitations of this approach described. Finally, the more general approach of structural equation modelling is covered.