There are several modules which provide a deeper understanding of quality of life for specific groups or people, or areas of interest.
These modules are culture-specific having been developed internationally in 10 or more centres around the world.
International measures are available for assessing specific diseases and conditions:
- WHOQOL-SRPB. This measure is used to explore qualtiy of life relating to Spiritual Religious and Personal Beliefs (SRPB).
- WHOQOL-HIV. This measure is for use by people with HIV / Aids.
- WHOQOL-OLD. This measure is for use by people over age 60.
Pilot or development work has been completed for modules for other conditions / populations as well. These include:
- Poverty: developed in four countries worldwide (Skevington et al., 2004; 2008; 2009)
- Pain (UK)(Mason et al., 2004; 2008a; 2008b; 2009; 2010; 2013)
- Children (aged 5-8 years)(Thailand)(Jirojanakul et al., 2000; 2003)
- Adolescents (13-18 years)(UK)(Skevington et al., 2014)
Read more about the SRPB, OLD, HIV and Pain modules below.
Spiritual Religious and Personal Beliefs
Spiritual and religious experiences may affect quality of life, particularly social and psychological and some areas of health such as depression and anxiety, also coping mechanisms when faced with ill-health.
WHOQOL-SRPB must be completed with the WHOQOL-100 or the WHOQOL-BREF, to obtain a complete quality of life assessment.
The Spiritual, Religious and Personal Beliefs (SRPB) module was developed in a similar way to the generic WHOQOL-100, and was pilot tested in a cross-cultural sample of 18 countries world-wide (The WHOQOL-SRPB Group, Social Science & Medicine, 2006). The sample from each participating centre contained people with religious, spiritual and personal beliefs in proportions relevant to that culture. For example in Japan Zen Buddhists were recruited, but in Britain the sample was predominantly Christian. The international sample contains representatives from most of the major world religions. Recent research shows that community samples are interested in completing this type of measure (Gunson, 2012). This indicates that it is widely accepted and can be offered to a broad range of populations, well beyond its expected uses in palliative care and end-of-life studies.
- The WHOQOL-SRPB module consists of eight spiritual facets: spiritual connection, awe and wonder, meaning of life, wholeness and integration, inner peace, spiritual strength, hope and optimism, and faith.
- These 8 new facets (dimensions) contain 32 items of Spirituality, Religion, and Personal Beliefs related to quality of life and health.
- The WHOQOL-SRPB BREF is a recent short-form of the SRPB that has been developed for easy use.
- Eight items were extracted from the Spiritual domain facets of the WHOQOL-SRPB. The short form therefore contains 34 items; 26 from the WHOQOL-BREF with eight extra 8 spiritual items.
- The WHOQOL-SRPB BREF can be completed in about 8 minutes (see reference below)
For further information about the development and testing of the WHOQOL-SRPB, please see:
Skevington,S.M., Gunson, K.S. & OConnell, K.A. (2013) Introducing the WHOQOL-SRPB BREF : developing a short-form instrument for assessing spiritual, religious and personal beliefs within quality of life. Quality of Life Research, 22(5), 1073-1083
See a sample copy of the WHOQOL-SRPB (PDF, 96 KB)
If you wish to assess people who are over 60 years of age, then you could consider adding an extra module of questions covering the specific concerns of older adults by including the WHOQOL-OLD questions (The WHOQOL-OLD Group, 2005).
WHOQOL-OLD items must be completed with the WHOQOL-100 or the WHOQOL-BREF to obtain a complete assessment. By doing this, a full quality of life assessment is created for the over 60's.
- The long form contains 24 items which are added as a block at the end of the WHOQOL-BREF or WHOQOL-100.
- This module contains six facets: sensory abilities, autonomy, death and dying, social participation, intimacy, and past, present and future activities.
- The WHOQOL-OLD module has been developed and tested in 23 countries including UK and is reliable and valid.
- Three short-forms of the WHOQOL-OLD are available for use with the WHOQOL-BREF (Fang, et al, 2012).
For further information about the development and testing of the WHOQOL-OLD, please see:
The WHOQOL-HIV module is used to assess quality of life in those who are living with HIV/Aids. Development of this module included work from 10 diverse countries, including: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Italy, Thailand, Ukraine, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and UK.
The WHOQOL-HIV module must be completed with the WHOQOL-100 or the WHOQOL-BREF, to obtain a complete quality of life assessment.
- There are five new facets in the WHOQOL-HIV: forgiveness and blame, concerns about the future, death and dying, social inclusion, and symptoms [of HIV/Aids].
- The long form which is to be used with the WHOQOL-100, includes an additional 20 items specific to people living with HIV/Aids
- The WHOQOL-HIV BREF is comprised of the original 26 items from the BREF with 5 items.
- Both long and short form measures are scored in six domains.
For further information about the development and testing of the WHOQOL-HIV, please see:
WHOQOL HIV, Group (2003). Initial steps to developing the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life instrument (WHOQOL) module for international assessment in HIVAIDS. AIDS Care, 15, 347-357. DOI: 10.1080/0954012031000105405
WHOQOL HIV, Group (2003). Preliminary development of the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life HIV instrument (WHOQOL-HIV): analysis of the pilot version. Social Science and Medicine, 57, 1259-1275. DOI: 10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00506-3
O'Connell, K. & Skevingon, S. (2012) An international quality of life instrument to asses wellbeing in adults who are HIV-positive: a short form of the WHOQOL-HIV (31 items). Aids Behaviour, 16(2), 452-460. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-010-9863-0
The WHOQOL-Pain module (PDM) consists of the WHOQOL-100 and the Pain and Discomfort items, which were designed and developed in the UK for use with people with chronic pain.
Although its development draws on the WHOQOL research procedures, the international collaborating methods used elsewhere in WHOQOL work were not used. Consequently, the pain and discomfort items are not an official WHOQOL instrument and there are no other language versions of this scale.
- The instrument is developed for use by adults (+18 years old) who have experienced chronic pain (i.e., continuous or intermittent pain) for three or more months.
- The Pain and Discomfort Module (PDM) contains four facets assessing: pain relief; anger/frustration; vulnerability/fear/worry; and uncertainty.
- Asks questions about pain duration, location, severity and temporal experiences.
- Included in WHOQOL-Pain are four new importance items that are combined with the WHOQOL-Importance questions.
- The pain and discomfort items must only be used in conjunction with the UK WHOQOL-100. There is currently no short form available.
For further information about the development and testing of the WHOQOL-Pain, please see:
Mason, V. L., Skevington, S. M., & Osborn, M. (2004). Development of a pain and discomfort module for use with the WHOQOL-100. Quality of Life Research, 13, 1139–1152. DOI: 10.1023/B:QURE.0000031344.53009.eb
Mason, V.L., Skevington, S.M., & Osborn, M. (2008) The quality of life of people in chronic pain: Developing a pain and discomfort module for use with the WHOQOL. Psychology and Health, 23(2): 135-154. DOI: 10.1080/14768320601070746
Mason, V.L., Skevington, S.M., & Osborn, M. (2009) A measure for quality of life assessment in chronic pain: preliminary properties of the WHOQOL-Pain. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 32(2), 162-173. DOI: 10.1007/s10865-008-9187-y
A note on questionnaire modules: questionnaire modules are designed to 'round-out' the concept of quality of life for people in particular circumstances. These questionnaires should be used in addition to one of the core questionnaires (WHOQOL-100 or WHOQOL-BREF). Questionnaire modules should not be used as 'stand-alone' questionnaires.