Quality of Life Research

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 1073–1083

Introducing the WHOQOL-SRPB BREF: developing a short-form instrument for assessing spiritual, religious and personal beliefs within quality of life

  • Suzanne M. Skevington
  • Keely Sarah Gunson
  • Kathryn Ann O’Connell

DOI: 10.1007/s11136-012-0237-0

Cite this article as:
Skevington, S.M., Gunson, K.S. & O’Connell, K.A. Qual Life Res (2013) 22: 1073. doi:10.1007/s11136-012-0237-0



The aim was to develop and conduct preliminary testing of a short-form measure to assess spiritual, religious and personal beliefs (SRPB) within quality of life (QoL).


Existing data from the 132 items of the WHOQOL-SRPB (n = 5087) obtained in 18 cultures were first analysed to select the ‘best’ performing item from each of the eight SRPB facets. These were integrated with the 26 WHOQOL-BREF items to give 34 items in the WHOQOL-SRPB BREF. A focus group of hospital chaplains reviewed this new short-form. The WHOQOL-SRPB BREF was administered to a UK community sample (n = 230) either with an adapted WHOQOL-SRPB Importance measure or the SWBQ. A subset received both WHOQOL measures twice.


Completed in 8 mins, the WHOQOL-SRPB BREF was acceptable and feasible; Importance 5.5 mins. Good internal consistency reliability was found overall (α = 0.85), for the SRPB domain (α = 0.83), and Importance (α = 0.90). Domains were moderately correlated. Domain test–retest reliability was acceptable in both WHOQOL measures, except for SRPB Importance. Sleep was linked with religious beliefs. Hope and wholeness were widely associated with non-spiritual facets. Factor analysis (maximum likelihood) of items largely confirmed the WHOQOL domain structure, adding SRPB as a significant fifth domain. Internally, SRPB distinguished religious from existential beliefs, and was validated by association with personal and transcendental well-being from the SWBQ.


Preliminary evidence shows that the WHOQOL-SRPB BREF is sound for use in, and beyond health care. Extracted from a measure already available in 18 languages, this short-form can be immediately used where such translations exist.


Quality of lifeHealthWHOQOLSpiritualShort

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne M. Skevington
    • 1
  • Keely Sarah Gunson
    • 1
  • Kathryn Ann O’Connell
    • 1
  1. 1.WHO Centre for the Study of Quality of Life, Department of PsychologyUniversity of BathBathUK