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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Whitford, H. S., Oliver, I. N., & Peterson, M. J. (2008). Spirituality as a core domain in the assessment of quality of life in oncology. Psycho-Oncology, 17(11), 1121–1128.
Costanzo, E. S., Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. H. (2009). Psychosocial adjustment among cancer survivors: Findings from a national survey of health and well-being. Health Psychology, 28(2), 147–156.
Peterman, A. H., Fitchett, G., Brady, M. J., Hernandez, L., & Cella, D. (2002). Measuring spiritual well-being in people with cancer: the functional assessment of chronic illness therapy—spiritual well-being scale (FACIT-Sp). Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 49–58.
Zinnbauer, B. J., Pargament, K., & Scott, A. B. (1999). The emerging meanings of religiousness and spirituality: Problems and prospect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 889–919.
O’Connell, K. A., & Skevington, S. M. (2005). The relevance of spirituality, religion and personal beliefs to health-related quality of life: Themes from focus groups in Britain. British Journal of Health Psychology, 10(3), 379–398.
Koenig, H. G. (2008). Concerns about measuring “Spirituality” in research. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 196(5), 349–355.
Chambers, L. W., MacDonald, L. A., & Tugwell, P. (1982). The McMaster Health Index questionnaire as a measure of quality of life for patients with rheumatoid disease. Journal of Rheumatology, 9, 780–784.
Nelson, C. J., Rosenfeld, B. J., Breitbart, W., & Galietta, M. (2002). Spirituality, religion, and depression in the terminally ill. Psychosomatics, 43(3), 213–220.
Bekelman, D. B., Parry, C., Curlin, F. A., Yamashita, T. E., Fairclough, D. L., & Wamboldt, F. S. (2010). A comparison of two spirituality instruments and their relationship with depression and quality of life in chronic heart failure. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 39(3), 515–526.
The WHOQOL Group. (1998). The World Health Organization quality of life assessment (WHOQOL): Development and general psychometric properties. Social Science and Medicine, 46(12), 1569–1585.
Brady, M. J., Peterman, A. H., Fitchett, G., Mo, M., & Cella, D. (1999). A case for including spirituality in quality of life measurement in oncology. Psycho-Oncology, 8(5), 417–428.
Cohen, S. R., & Mount, B. M. (2000). Living with cancer: “Good” days and “bad” days—what produces them? Cancer, 89(8), 1854–1865.
Mueller, P. S., Plevak, D. J., & Rummans, T. A. (2001). Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: Implications for clinical practice. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 76, 1225–1235.
O’Connell, K. A., Saxena, S., Skevington, S. M., & WHOQOL—HIV Group. (2004). WHOQOL-HIV for quality of life assessment among people living with HIV and AIDS: Results from the field test. AIDS Care, 16(7), 882–889.
Aaronson, N. K. (1990). Quality of life research in cancer clinical trials: A need for common rules and language. Oncology, 4, 59–66.
Skevington, S. M., Day, R., Chisholm, A., & Trueman, P. (2005). How much do doctors use quality of life information in primary care? Testing the trans-theoretical model of behaviour change. Quality of Life Research, 14(4), 911–922.
Skevington, S. M., Sartorius, N., Amir, M., & the WHOQOL Group. (2004). Developing methods for assessing quality of life in different cultural settings: The history of the WHOQOL instruments. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 39(1), 1–8.
The WHOQOL Group. (1995). The World Health Organisation Quality of Life assessment (WHOQOL): Position paper from the world health organisation. Social Science and Medicine, 41, 1403.
O’Connell, K. A., & Skevington, S. M. (2010). Spiritual, religious, and personal beliefs are important and distinctive to assessing quality of life in health: A comparison of theoretical models. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 729–748.
The WHOQOL SRPB Group. (2006). A cross-cultural study of spirituality, religion, and personal beliefs as components of quality of life. Social Science and Medicine, 62(6), 1486–1497.
The WHOQOL Group. (1998). Development of the World Health Organization WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment. Psychological Medicine, 28, 551–558.
Saxena, S., Carlson, D., Billington, R., Orley, J., & WHOQOL-Group. (2001). The WHO quality of life assessment instrument (WHOQOL-Bref): The importance of its items for cross-cultural research. Quality of Life Research, 10(8), 711–721.
Skevington, S. M., & O’Connell, K. A. (2004). Can we identify the poorest quality of life? Assessing the importance of quality of life using the WHOQOL-100. Quality of Life Research, 13(1), 23–34.
Gomez, R., & Fischer, J. W. (2003). Domains of spiritual well-being and development and validation of the spiritual well-being questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 1975–1991.
Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Gorsuch, R. L. (1986). Factor analysis. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.
Streiner, D. L., & Norman, G. R. (2008). Health measurement scales (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (1999). Multivariate data analysis (5th ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
Kline, P. (2000). Handbook of psychological testing (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
Miller, J. F., McConnell, T. R., & Klinger, T. A. (2007). Religiosity and spirituality: Influence on quality of life and perceived patient self-efficacy among cardiac patients and their Spouses. Journal of Religion and Health, 46, 299–313.
Higginson, I. J., & Donaldson, N. (2004). Relationship between three palliative care outcome scales. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 2, 68–75.
Bolger, A. (2010). Pope warns against ‘aggressive secularism’. Retrieved November 6, 2010, from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/aab5fc5a-c1c3-11df-9d90-00144feab49a.html#axzz1Lz0hyHym. (September 16th).
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Skevington, S.M., Gunson, K.S. & O’Connell, K.A. Introducing the WHOQOL-SRPB BREF: developing a short-form instrument for assessing spiritual, religious and personal beliefs within quality of life. Qual Life Res 22, 1073–1083 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-012-0237-0
- Quality of life