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Health-related quality-of-life scales in Parkinson's disease: Critique and recommendations


  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Nothing to report.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.


Health-related quality of life is an important patient-reported outcome used in intervention trials and for monitoring the consequences of health status on physical, mental, and social domains. Parkinson's disease is a complex disorder that strongly affects patients' quality of life. Several health-related quality of life tools have been used in Parkinson's disease. A Movement Disorder Society Task Force was commissioned to rate the psychometric quality of available health-related quality of life scales as applied to Parkinson's disease. Following the methodology adopted by previous work of the Movement Disorder Society Task Force, a review of generic and specific health-related quality of life scales applied in studies on Parkinson's disease was completed. Considering the scales from 3 perspectives—use in Parkinson's disease, use by multiple research groups, and clinimetric properties—a final classification as “recommended,” “suggested,” or “listed” was applied to each reviewed instrument. Four generic scales (EuroQoL, Nottingham Health Profile, 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, and Sickness Impact Profile) and 5 specific scales (39-Item Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire, Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire Short Form, Parkinson's Disease Quality of Life Questionnaire, Parkinson's Impact Scale, and Scales for Outcomes in Parkinson's Disease–Psychosocial) reached the level of “recommended.” The 39-item Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire is the most thoroughly tested and applied questionnaire. Three other generic measures (Quality of Life Questionnaire 15D, Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life-Direct Weighting, and World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment Short Version) and the specific Parkinson's Disease Quality of Life Scale are “suggested.” With a little additional effort in completing the stipulated requirements, they could reach the “recommended” level. At present there is a wide variety of health-related quality of life measures for application in the Parkinson's disease setting, and the task force does not recommend the development of a new scale. Selection of the most appropriate instrument for a particular objective requires consideration of the characteristics of each scale and the goals of the assessment. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society