Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Harlan Krumholz


Purpose: To review the origins and early development of quality of life measurements in the medical literature. Methods: A comprehensive literature review of Medline from 1966-1986 examining articles with quality of life as a subject heading. Studies were included if they were the original article describing a scales development or used scales developed in the social science literature. Results: The measurements have been derived from two separate sources: a transfer and expansion of medical appraisals for health status, and an application of sociometric and psychometric methods for populational assessment of happiness, well-being, and other affects. Neither source of measurements used the basic principle that a persons quality of life is a state of mind, not a state of health, and that a suitable personal expression should allow the opportunity to cite distinctive individual feelings. In addition, the existing approaches are often unsatisfactory for denoting changes. Conclusions: Since quality of life of individual patients was not directly sought with the two original sources, its appraisal may be improved with an old clinical method of asking patients what they believe.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access