ATS American Thoracic Society
Recent Abstracts

Quality of Well Being

Name of Questionnaire

Quality of Well-being Scale (QWB)


An interviewer-administered general health related quality of life questionnaire measuring symptoms, mobility, physical activity and social activity. Scores can be translated into economic evaluation for cost-effectiveness studies or quality of adjusted life years.


RM Kaplan PhD


Robert M. Kaplan PhD
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine
University of San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0622

Cost & availability

$69.00, contact R Kaplan for information; available from MOS Trust


Structured interview

Time to complete

12-20 minutes

Number of items


Domains & categories


Name of categories/domains

Symptom/complex, mobility, physical activity, and social activity.

Scaling of items

Weighted scores with transformation of scores according to a formula.


0 (death) to 1.0 (asymptomatic optimal functioning)


a. Test-retest/reproducibility Reported 1
b. Internal consistency Reported 2


Content validity reported 3 . Construct validity demonstrated through correlations with chronic conditions and symptoms 3 . Criterion validity shown through correlations with FEV1 and exercise 4 .


No evidence of sensitivity to changes in COPD with pulmonary rehabilitation as the intervention 5 . Changes are reported with cystic fibrosis 6 .

Minimally important difference

Not determined.

Research use


Clinical use

Not reported.




  1. Anderson JP, Kaplan RM, Berry CC, Bush JW, Rumbaut RG. Interday reliability of function assessment for a health status measure. The quality of well-being scale. Med Care 1989: 27;1076-1083.
  2. Anderson JP, Bush JW, Berry CC. Internal consistency analysis: a method for studying the accuracy of function assessment for health outcome and quality of life evaluation. J Clin Epidemiol 1988: 41;127-137.
  3. Kaplan RM, Bush JW, Berry CC. Health status: types of validity and the index of well-being. Health Serv Res 1976: 11;478-507.
  4. Kaplan RM, Bush JW, Berry CC. Health status index. Category rating versus magnitude estimation for measuring levels of well-being. Med Care 1979: 17;501-525.
  5. Ries AL, Kaplan RM, Limberg TM, Prewitt LM. Effects of pulmonary rehabilitation on physiologic and psychosocial outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Ann Intern Med 1995: 122;823-832.
  6. Orenstein DM, Nixon PA, Ross EA, Kaplan RM. The quality of well-being in cystic fibrosis. Chest 1989; 95:344-347.

Date of information

March 1999

Comments from developer

Yes (January 1998)

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