There are two core WHOQOL questionnaires: the WHOQOL-100 and its short form, the WHOQOL-BREF which are designed for use with sick and well people.
The first questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) Group was the WHOQOL-100.
- The WHOQOL-100 contains 100 questions (items) which assess 25 facets (dimensions) of quality of life that are organised in six quality of life domains: physical, psychological, social relationships, environment, independence and spiritual,religious and personal beliefs.
- Each facet contains 4 items. The items ask about how a person feels about different aspects of their life. Each item is rated on a 5-point (Likert) interval scale. These interval scales were developed especially for this work (see Skevington and Tucker, 1999)
- The relevance of these facets and domains has been agreed internationally, and several cross-cultural surveys confirm its good measurement (psychometric) properties and structure (The WHOQOL Group, 1995; 1998a & b).
- The WHOQOL-100 UK version contains a further 2 ‘national’ items, which are particularly important to people from the UK (available on request).
- There an option to include additional questions about the Importance of these aspects of quality of life (Importance questions). Importance information can assist in prioritisation in health and social care (e.g., Skevington and O‘Connell, 2004). The Importance questions are available for most of the WHOQOL measures and modules.
For further information about the development and testing of the WHOQOL-100 please see:
The WHOQOL Group. (1998) The World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL): development and general psychometric properties. Social Science & Medicine, 46(12), 1569-1585. DOI: 10.1016/S0277-9536(98)00009-4
It is not always practical to use a long instrument for data collection, for example, in busy clinics, when patients are very ill, or people are completing many assessments at one time. It was with this in mind that the WHOQOL Group developed the WHOQOL-BREF. This short-form version contains items extracted from each facet of the WHOQOL-100.
- includes 26 items which can be completed in about 6 minutes.
- these are comprised of one item from each of 24 facets of quality of life, plus two General items: one about overall quality of life; one for overall health
- items are scored in four domains: physical, psychological, social, environmental quality of life
- the scores can discriminate between sick and well people in all domains
- reliability (internal consistency) ranges from 0.69 to .84 for the domains; the social domain is weakest.
The WHOQOL-BREF provides a quality of life profile of the scores of each domain. It does not however allow for individual facets to be reliably scored, as each has only one item. It is therefore important to consider how much detail you require for analysis and to balance this against the convenience offered by a shorter version when deciding whether to use the WHOQOL-100 or WHOQOL-BREF.
For further information about the development and testing of the WHOQOL-BREF please see:
Skevington, S.M., Lotfy, M., and O'Connell, K.A. (2004) The World Health Organization's WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment: Psychometric properties and results of the international field trial. A report from the WHOQOL Group. Quality of Life Research, 13(2), 299-310