Methods and problems in measuring quality of life

David F. Cella*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The US health-care transition demands increased accountability for medical care. This has contributed to increased interest in documenting valued medical outcomes including improvements in health-related quality of life and treatment satisfaction. These data can only be obtained validly by asking patients directly about their current health state, perception of well-being, and satisfaction with care. A core set of well-validated instruments have been developed to measure health-related quality of life in patients with cancer. As these are employed with increasing frequency, rigorous quality assurance of data collection is critical. Because of the necessity of quality control, patient-reported data collection can be labor-intensive and prohibitively costly. However, time and cost-saving methods, such as centralized telephone survey methods or on-site direct data entry via interactive computer, can guarantee high-quality data while minimizing costs. Justification of the need for these methods and a brief description are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Data collection methods
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Quality assurance
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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