Question 1: Can the WHOQOL questionnaires be used by patients and well people?
The WHOQOL is a self-report questionnaire, which is designed to be answered by the person themselves to describe their own quality of life and what it means to them. It can be given to anybody who is sick or well, and who is able to answer about their quality of life for themselves. In exceptional circumstances, where the person is unable to read or write the answers themselves, they can be assisted by a second person who reads the questions aloud, and each of their response scales. It is important that the assistant records what that persons answers. It is also important that an administrator uses a standard voice throughout reading, and does not put forward their own views about what the questions mean. Everyone who answers, brings their own meanings and interpretations to these questions, which are derived from their unique life experiences and its events.
The WHOQOL instruments are not designed for use with people who are unable to communicate about the meaning of their own quality of life e.g. some cases of autism, major stroke.
The disability version or WHOQOL-DIS may be used for this purpose in designated populations (REF).
A systematic review is available of the WHOQOL literature of how people living in 10 diverse cultures judge the quality of life of others with physical, mental health problems or intellectual disability (proxy judgements), using the WHOQOL-BREF (Crocker, Smith and Skevington,2015)