The quality of life, research, and care

R. A. Deyo

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

79 Scopus citations


As medical care is directed increasingly toward management of chronic diseases, measuring the quality of life as an outcome becomes more important. Therapeutic trials traditionally have focused on physiologic outcomes, but these outcomes may be only modestly associated with symptoms or functional ability. Although quality-of-life measures may be regarded as 'soft' and inferior to laboratory measures, newer instruments achieve high levels of reproducibility and validity. These newer questionnaire measures appear to offer important advantages over older and simpler scales, some dating from the 1940s. Despite conceptual and methodologic challenges, several quality-of-life instruments are ready for wider incorporation into clinical trials. Research is needed to improve existing measures, to provide head-to-head comparisons, and to assess the feasibility of incorporating these instruments into routinely maintained databases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-697
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • Chronic disease
  • Health status indicators
  • Outcome and process assessment (health care)
  • Quality of health care
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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