Can quality of life be measured? How important is it?

Joan Monés Xiol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Quality of life is defined as "the absence of disease or disability and the sensation of physical, mental and social well-being" or, as the simple but adequate American definition "personal feeling of well-being and satisfaction with life". Since far-off times in the doctor-patient relationship, subjective evaluations have been made by both the doctor and patient on the loss of health due to a disease and on the improvement produced by a specific therapeutic course of action. However, subjective impressions were difficult to evaluate and especially to quantify. Consequently, the possibility of measuring health status through instruments (questionnaires) requiring prior validation began to be considered as desirable. Physicians and clinical researchers slowly but surely began to introduce the first studies of quality of life in clinical trials and routine clinical practice. Questionnaires on Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) are not a substitute for symptom evaluation, laboratory tests, morphological studies, etc., but complement them and introduce the highly important element of how patients themselves perceive their health status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
JournalCirugia Espanola
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Generic and specific questionnaires on quality of life
  • Quality of life
  • Symptom evaluation questionnaires


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