Skip to main content
Log in

Development of a new type of global quality of life scale, and comparison of performance and preference for 12 global scales

  • Research Papers
  • Published:
Quality of Life Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript


We constructed a new type of global quality of life (QOL) scale deriving from the Borg symptom scales and compared four versions of this new type of scale (H scale) with four category rating (CR) scales and four visual analogue (VA) scales. Mean self-ratings and mean scenario ratings on different scales showed small but significant differences, and intercorrelations were higher amongst the H scales than amongst the CR or VA scales. H scales were on average most preferred (by undergraduates and elderly subjects) followed by CR and lastly VA scales in terms of ease of use and perceived accuracy of representation. We investigated the preferred polarity of the scales: subjects preferred ‘Perfect quality of life’ to be indicated by 20 or 100 (with slight preference for the latter) rather than 0. The H scales have eight additional quantifiers between the end labels and there was good agreement about the perceived magnitude of these quantitiers.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Kaplan RM, Bush JW. Health-related quality of life measurement for evaluation of research and policy analysis. Health Psychol 1982; 1: 61–80.

    Google Scholar 

  2. McGee HM, O'Boyle CA, Hickey A, O'Malley K, Joyce CRB. Assessing the quality of life of the individual: the SEIQoL with a healthy and a gastroenterology unit population. Psychol Med 1991; 21: 749–759.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Torrance GW. Measurement of health state utilities for economic appraisal: A review. J Health Econom 1986; 5: 1–30.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Ware JE, Sherbourne CD. The MOS 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). Med Care 1992: 30: 473–483.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Tsevat J, Goldman L, Lamas GA, Pfeffer MA, Chapin CG, Connors KF, Lee TH. Functional status versus utilities in survivors of myocardial infarction. Med Care 1991; 29: 1153–1159.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Skavem K.. Quality of life in epilepsy: Comparison of four utility measures. Qual Life Res 1995; 4: 489–490.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Daly E, Gray A, Barlow D, McPherson K, Roche M, Vessey M. Measuring the impact of menopausal symptoms on quality of life. BMJ 1993; 307: 836–834.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Borg G. A category scale with ratio properties for intermodal and interindividual comparisons. In: Geissler HG, Petzold P, eds. Psychological judgement and the process of perception. Berlin: VEB Deutscher Verlag der Vissenschaften, 1982: 25–34.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Sylven C, Borg G, Brandt R, Beerman R, Jonzon B. Dose-effect relationship of adenosine provoked angina pectoris-like pain: a study of the psychophysical power function. Eur Heart J 1988; 9: 87–91.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Borg G, Van den Burg M, Hassmen P, Kaijser L, Tanaka S. Relationship between perceived exertion, HR, and HLa in cycling, running and walking. Scand J Sports Sci 1987; 9: 69–77.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Borg G, Ljunggren G, Ceci R. The increase of perceived exertion, aches and pain in the legs, heart rate and blood lactate during exercise on a bicycle ergometer. Eur J Appl Physiol 1985; 54: 343–349.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hyland, M.E., Sodergren, S.C. Development of a new type of global quality of life scale, and comparison of performance and preference for 12 global scales. Qual Life Res 5, 469–480 (1996).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words