, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 161-165
Date: 25 May 2011

The WHO quality of life (WHOQOL) questionnaire: Spanish development and validation studies

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Abstract

Background

In the 1990s, the World Health Organization (WHO) undertook a project to develop an instrument (the WHOQOL) for measuring quality of life (QoL). The WHOQOL was developed in the framework of a collaborative project involving numerous centers in different cultural settings. This paper describes the psychometric properties of the Spanish WHOQOL during its development.

Methods

One thousand and eighty-two patients with physical health conditions, persons without any health condition, patients with schizophrenia, and family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia participated on the WHOQOL-100 and WHOQOL-BREF field trials. QoL self-assessment was completed, together with sociodemographic and health status questions. Analysis was performed using classical psychometric methods. Results: Both versions of the WHOQOL showed satisfactory psychometric properties as follows: acceptability, internal consistency, and evidence of convergent and discriminant validity.

Conclusions

The WHOQOL-100 and WHOQOL-BREF are suitable to use in patients with different health conditions, including schizophrenia, and in different populations, including caregivers. Spanish field trials are the first to report on use of the WHOQOL in persons with schizophrenia and caregivers. These results indicate that both versions are useful tools in assessing these groups, as the WHOQOL includes important dimensions commonly omitted from other generic QoL measures.

Portions of this article were presented at different congresses in Spain from 1994 to 1998.