Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 38–47

Quality of life as an outcome measure in evaluating mental health services: a review of the empirical evidence

  • M. M. Barry
  • A. Zissi
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF00800666

Cite this article as:
Barry, M.M. & Zissi, A. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (1997) 32: 38. doi:10.1007/BF00800666


This paper addresses the question of how well quality of life measures function as valid and sensitive outcome indicators of mental health services. Findings from the major empirical studies of quality of life in the mental health area over the last 15 years are reviewed. The extent to which existing studies provide evidence of the ability of quality of life measures to discriminate the impact of service interventions on the well-being of psychiatric clients is examined. Findings from crosssectional, comparative, repeated-measures and randomised studies are presented. The available empirical evidence is critically examined and the methodological and theoretical implications of current findings for future work are considered.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. Barry
    • 1
  • A. Zissi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health PromotionUniversity College GalwayGalwayIreland
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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