, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 39–48 | Cite as

Operational Aspects of Quality-of-Life Assessment

Choosing the Right Instrument
  • Pennifer Erickson
  • Richard C. Taeuber
  • Jeffrey Scott
Review Article Choosing the Right Quality-of-Life Instrument


In assessing quality of life, the most important goal is to develop a strategy that produces useable and useful information for decision making. Assessment design is complex, and whether an assessment is developed from scratch, or 1 or more portions of existing instruments are adapted, the focus must be on the quality of the theoretical and operational elements of the particular line of inquiry and its environment.

The necessary and most often discussed focus on the theoretical dimensions of validity, reliability and responsiveness is not sufficient to insure that the data are of the requisite high quality. There is also a need, almost universally given little attention in the literature, to look at operational aspects, such as design, format, flow, appearance, and response-stimulus, of each assessment instrument. Searching for guidance in the quality-of-life (QOL) literature remains a challenge even with computers, modems, keywords, static guidebooks and bibliographic systems.

The On-Line Guide to Quality-of-Life Assessments (OLGA) is presented as a personal computer-based system that is updated 3 times a year to provide QOL researchers and assessment developers with 2 databases: assessments providing full descriptions and contact information; and references providing fully keyed citations to the assessment use literature. These databases are made more useful by decision-logical programs that identify relevant assessments and supporting research literature.

OLGA can thus save time and other resources by helping investigators concentrate on the most relevant elements of the existing literature. This focus will assist them in avoiding the problems of ending up with the right answers to the wrong questions.


Adis International Limited Assessment Strategy Assessment Design Quality Oflife Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pennifer Erickson
    • 1
  • Richard C. Taeuber
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.The On-Line Guide to Quality-of-Life Assessment (OLGA)KensingtonUSA

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