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Education And Debate

A new short form individual quality of life measure (SEIQoL-DW): application in a cohort of individuals with HIV/AIDS

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 06 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:29
  1. Anne M Hickey, research fellow in psychologya,
  2. Gerard Bury, professor of general practicea,
  3. Ciaran A O'Boyle, professor of psychologyb,
  4. Fiona Bradley, research fellow in general practicea,
  5. Fergus D O'Kelly, lecturer in general practicea,
  6. William Shannon, professor of general practicea
  1. aHIV Primary Care Research Project, Department of General Practice, University College Dublin, Coombe Healthcare Centre, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
  2. bDepartment of Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Anne M Hickey, Department of Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Lower Mercer St, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland.

    Quality of life is an increasingly important outcome measure in medicine and health care. Many measures of quality of life present patients with predetermined lists of questions that may or may not be relevant to the individual patient. This paper describes a brief measure, the SEIQoL-DW, which is derived from the schedule for evaluation of individual quality of life (SEIQoL). The measure allows respondents to nominate the areas of life which are most important, rate their level of functioning or satisfaction with each, and indicate the relative importance of each to their overall quality of life. Given its practicality and brevity, the measure should prove particularly useful in clinical situations where patient generated data on quality of life is important. This article describes the first clinical application of the measure, assessing the quality of life of a cohort of patients with HIV/AIDS managed in general practice.

    Advances in diagnostic procedures, drugs, surgical techniques, and technology have rendered many acute conditions treatable, resulting in a shift in the focus of modern medicine to the management of chronic conditions. The management of chronic disease in general practice is a familiar responsibility. HIV/AIDS involves general practitioners in the management of minor illness, the referral of major illness, monitoring of disease progression, supervision of medication, support for carers, palliative care, psychological support, and many other roles. A common theme to these roles is the maintenance of quality of life.

    Measuring the quality of life

    The methodology used to evaluate quality of life has received considerable attention in the past decade.1 2 3 4 Traditional questionnaires impose an external value system, and weighting of the component parts of the questionnaire is standardised and fixed and is generally derived from grouped data. Although these measures may be reliable, they may not be relevant to an individual's present life situation. Apparently …

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