What is a quality of life tool?
Quality of life is a broad, multidimensional concept of an individual’s subjective evaluation of aspects of his / her life as diverse as physical, social, spiritual and emotional wellbeing . This may cover areas such as his / her environment, employment, education and leisure time. Within this wide-ranging definition, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is used to refer to the impact of a medical condition and / or treatment on a patient’s functioning and well-being. HRQoL is increasingly being measured in clinical trials alongside other outcome measures to evaluate the full range of effects of an intervention (e.g. a new medicine) from the patients’ perspective. For instance, in oncology trials, symptom burden may be measured in addition to survival and progression-free survival.
Why do you need to critique quality of life tools?
To provide a fair and robust test of an intervention or drug, when selecting a quality of life tool for the trial or service evaluation, the measure needs to be reliable, sensitive and valid (measures what it purports to measure), in order to detect genuine change over time. The measure also needs to be appropriate for the patient population (covering the issues that are relevant and important to that population). Factors such as the length of the tool and licensing issues are also important to consider depending on the patient population and length of time available for the study to run.
How can we help you?
YHEC can review and advise on the selection and analysis of quality of life tools. This can range from a pragmatic search and review of tools, through to a systematic search and review to aid decision making in trial or evaluation design.