Health-related quality of life measurement in oncology: Advances and opportunities

David Cella*, Arthur A. Stone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The concept of health-related quality of life has a long history in the field of oncology treatment and research. We present a brief history of how the concept has evolved in oncology and the sentinel events in that process. We then focus on advances in measurement science as applied to health-related quality of life measures and argue that a compelling new set of measurement tools is now available, including brief, generic measures with good psychometric qualities (exemplified by the new PROMIS measures and the possibility of a common metric spanning all diseases). The last section of the paper turns to emerging opportunities for these measures, including in clinical trials, healthcare reform, and regulatory deliberations. Our conclusion is that health-related quality of life is more important today than it has ever been, and that the time has come for an even wider adoption of the new measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Health-related quality of life measurement in oncology: Advances and opportunities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this