A systematic review of quality of life research in medicine and health sciences
AuthorHaraldstad, Kristin; Wahl, Astrid Klopstad; Andenæs, Randi; Andersen, John Roger; Andersen, Marit Helen; Beisland, Elisabeth Grov; Borge, Christine Råheim; Engebretsen, Eivind; Eisemann, Martin; Halvorsrud, Liv Torill; Hanssen, Tove Aminda; Haugstvedt, Anne; Haugland, Trude; Johansen, Venke A; Larsen, Marie Hamilton; Løvereide, Lise; Løyland, Borghild; Kvarme, Lisbeth Gravdal; Moons, P; Norekvål, Tone M.; Ribu, Lis; Rohde, Gudrun E.; Urstad, Kristin Hjorthaug; Helseth, Sølvi
Methods: A systematic review was conducted to identify research studies on QOL and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The databases Scopus, which includes Embase and MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched for articles published during one random week in November 2016. The ten predefned criteria of Gill and Feinstein were used to evaluate the conceptual and methodological rigor.
Results: QOL research is international and involves a variety of target groups, research designs, and QOL measures. According to the criteria of Gill and Feinstein, the results show that only 13% provided a defnition of QOL, 6% distinguished QOL from HRQOL. The most frequently fulflled criteria were: (i) stating the domains of QOL to be measured; (ii) giving a reason for choosing the instruments used; and (iii) aggregating the results from multiple items.
Conclusion: QOL is an important endpoint in medical and health research, and QOL research involves a variety of patient groups and diferent research designs. Based on the current evaluation of the methodological and conceptual clarity of QOL research, we conclude that the majority QOL studies in health and medicine have conceptual and methodological challenges.