To measure the quality of life of individuals and populations.
The WHOQOL-BREF is a shorter version of the WHOQOL-100. Both were developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and published in 1995. It was developed over several years and from 15 centres around the world. The questions stem from multiple statements about quality of life, health and well-being from people with and without disease, and health professionals. It has been tested for reliability and vailidity.
Specific populations or groups with a particular disease, or general populations.
Method of Use
The WHOQOL-BREF is a self-administered questionnaire comprising 26 questions on the individual's perceptions of their health and well-being over the previous two weeks. Responses to questions are on a 1-5 Likert scale where 1 represents "disagree" or "not at all" and 5 represents "completely agree" or "extremely".
The WHOQOL-BREF covers four domains each with specific facets:
- Physical health
- Bodily image and appearance
- Negative feelings
- Positive feelings
- Spirituality / Religion / Personal beliefs
- Thinking, learning, memory and concentration
- Social relationships
- Personal relationships
- Social support
- Sexual activity
- Financial resources
- Freedom, physical safety and security
- Health and social care: accessibility and quality
- Home environment
- Opportunities for acquiring new information and skills
- Participation in and opportunities for recreation / leisure activities
- Physical environment (pollution / noise / traffic / climate)
There are also two separate questions which ask specifically about 1) the individual's overall perception of their health and 2) the individual's overall perception of their quality of life.
Along with the WHOQOL-100, the WHOQOL-BREF's psychometric properties have been extensively researched and validated; by the WHO group and by other researchers from around the world. It has been tested in multiple languages, cultural groups and disease populations. Searches of literature databases or Google Scholar will bring up dozens more research articles than can be listed here. Skevington et al note that, after testing, the WHOQOL-BREF is "a sound, cross-culturally valid assessment of QOL".
The WHOQOL-BREF correlates well with the WHOQOL-100 suggesting that it is a suitable alternative to the longer version if time does not permit.
- World Health Organisation. WHOQOL: Measuring Quality of Life. Available from https://www.who.int/healthinfo/survey/whoqol-qualityoflife/en/index1.html. Accessed 2 April 2020.
- Power M, Bullinger M, Harper A, & The World Health Organization Quality of Life Group. The World Health Organization WHOQOL-100: Tests of the universality of quality of life in 15 different cultural groups worldwide. Health Psychol. 1999. 18; 5: 495–505.
- Cambridge University Press. Development of the World Health Organization WHOQOL-BREF Quality of Life Assessment. 1998. 28; 3: 551-558.
- World Health Organisation. Introduction, Administration, Scoring and Generic Version of the Assessment. 1996. Available from:https://www.who.int/mental_health/media/en/76.pdf. Accessed 23 April 2020.
- Skevington S, Lotfy M, O'Connell K. 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. Qual Life Res. 2004.13: 299–310.