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After more than 20 years, the McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire is revised

08 March 2017

The McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire (MQOL) has been widely used in palliative care research since it was first developed more than 20 years ago.

People often choose to use MQOL rather than other quality of life assessment tools developed for people at the end of life because it has subscales measuring the four main relevant domains: physical, psychological, existential/spiritual, and social. MQOL also has a summary score that weights these domains equally. Most other tools developed to assess the quality of life of people with life-limiting illnesses don’t have subscales, and/or don’t include the existential/spiritual domain, and/or have a primary focus on physical symptoms, or have many more items. MQOL also allows respondents to list their most problematic physical symptoms, rather than providing them with a list which may not represent their most problematic symptoms. With its use over time, we learned through informal feedback and data collected that there are some aspects that could be improved. Our article in the February 2017 issue of Palliative Medicine describes the first new version, MQOL-Revised, and how and why it was created.

Why did it take more than 20 years? Rather than making small changes in several new versions, we wanted to wait so that we could have a definitive revised version. One reason that MQOL stood the test of time is that it was created comparing results from three datasets, rather than finalizing and publishing it based on analysis of a single dataset. Similarly, MQOL-R is based on four new datasets collected in various populations over time (although mainly oncology).

For the full article, visit EAPC

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