Measuring Health: A Review of Quality of Life Measurement Scales

Measuring Health: A Review of Quality of Life Measurement Scales

Measuring Health: A Review of Quality of Life Measurement Scales

Measuring Health: A Review of Quality of Life Measurement Scales


The essential reference to regulate quality health care

Interest in measuring quality of life and broader health status has risen sharply over the past few years, and the production of measurement scales has almost become an industry. For this reason, there is a need to keep Measuring Health up-to-date on pertinent developments and references.

This thoroughly revised and updated edition offers a comprehensive guide to measures of health and is an essential reference resource for all health professionals and students. The unique strength of the book lies in author Ann Bowling's ability to provide an accessible commentary and guidance on a range of commonly, and not so commonly, used scales. Each chapter is self-contained, and you can dip into and out of the book or read it in full. Current users of the book praise its user-friendly format and length, which are continued in the third edition.


Since the first two editions of Measuring Health were published, the interest in patient-based evaluation of health care has continued. This third edition has been based on extensive searches of internet sites for measurement scales, as well as Medline and Psychinfo. It would not be feasible in a book of this size to include reference to all those published studies utilizing a specific scale. The studies which have been referenced include those that have provided information on the psychometric properties of an instrument, or applied the measure to a different population group.

Most investigators who aim to measure healthrelated quality of life in generic terms have continued to use broader health status scales as proxy measures, with some justifying this with reference to their overlapping domains. But given the increasing interest in conceptual clarification, and in measuring broader quality of life, an additional chapter on these measures has been included in this edition. Additional, popular measures of functioning, anxiety, life satisfaction and well-being, and broader health status have also been included in the remaining chapters.

Readers will note the continued inclusion of the Cornell Medical Index, despite its withdrawal. This is to provide a historical record, and also because the owners of this instrument have not ruled out revising, updating and re-releasing it in the future, and enquiries about it are still received. One scale that has been removed, however, is the Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Scale (SAD). This is because, while it was a popular tool in the UK for use with older populations, it is no longer used as a stand alone instrument, and is used mainly in the USA with the SCL-90 subscale on anxiety (the DSSI/sAD) (Bedford et al. 1976; Bedford and Deary 1997).

While this volume includes a wide selection of popularly used generic and domain specific measurement scales, there are still inevitable omissions. For example, the various scales of stress and coping ability have been omitted (some adjustment and coping scales were reviewed in Bowling–s (2001) Measuring Disease). This is a complex area and interested readers are referred to Kasl and Cooper (1987), Maes et al. (1987) and Cooper and Kasl (1995); electronic searches are recommended for updated information on any instruments of interest.

Copyright permission was sought to reproduce the items from the scales reproduced in this volume, and the author is grateful to the scale developers and distributors for their consent. Some scales are too long to reproduce in full here, and others are strictly copyrighted and only available commercially (which prevents reproduction of full scales). It was, as before, decided to aim for consistency and only reproduce a selection of scale items as examples, except where scales are very brief. Potential users are advised to consult the authors of scales (where a contact address has been given) before use in order to avoid copyright infringement. Informed use also assists authors of scales to compile bibliographies of users . . .

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