Skip to main content Accessibility help

Assessing the quality of life of the individual: the SEIQoL with a healthy and a gastroenterology unit population

  • Hannah M. McGee (a1), Ciaran A. O'Boyle (a1), Anne Hickey (a1), Kevin O'Malley (a1) and C. R. B. Joyce (a1)...


Current methods of measuring quality of life (QoL) impose an external value system on individuals, rather than allowing them to describe their lives in terms of those factors which they consider important. The Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL) was developed to overcome such limitations. The QoL of 42 healthy attenders at an international immunization clinic was assessed using SEIQoL. Judgement reliability was high (r = 0·74) and individuals' judgement policies accounted for a large percentage of the variance in overall QoL (R2 = 0·75) demonstrating the construct validity of judgement analysis in this context.

In a second study of QoL of out-patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (N = 20) or peptic ulcer disease (PUD) (N = 20) was assessed using SEIQoL. Judgement reliability was lower (r = 0·54) although statistically highly significant (P < 0·01), and the variance in overall QoL judgements explained was high (R2 = 0·74).

SEIQoL is an acceptable, reliable and valid technique for measuring individual QoL that takes greater account of individual perspectives than traditional measurement approaches.


Corresponding author

1 Address for correspondence: Dr H. M. McGee, Department of Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2, Ireland.


Hide All
Bech, P., Haaber, A., Joyce, C. R. B. & the Danish University Antidepressant Group. (1986). Experiments on clinical observation and judgement in the assessment of depression: profiled videotapes and judgement analysis. Psychological Medicine 16, 873883.
Bergner, M., Bobbit, R. A., Carter, W. & Gilson, B. (1981). The Sickness Impact Profile: development and final revision of a health status measure. Medical Care 19, 787805.
Brickman, P. & Coates, D. (1978). Lottery winners and accident victims: is happiness relative? Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 36, 917927.
Caiman, K. C. (1984). Quality of life in cancer patients – an hypothesis. Journal of Medical Ethics 10, 124127.
Carey, R. G. (1974). Emotional adjustment in terminal patients: a quantitative approach. Journal of Counselling Psychology 21, 443–439.
Chambers, L. W., McDonald, L. A., Tugwell, P., Buchanan, W. W. & Kraag, G. (1982). The McMaster Health Index Questionnaire as a measure of quality of life for patients with rheumatoid disease. Journal of Rheumatology 9, 780784.
Cohen, C. (1982). On the quality of life: some philosophical reflections. Circulation 66 (Suppl 3), 2933.
Fisch, H. U., Hammond, K. R., Joyce, C. R. B. & O'Reilly, M. (1981). An experimental study of the clinical judgement of general physicians in evaluating and prescribing for depression. British Journal of Psychiatry 138, 100109.
Guthrie, E., Creed, F. H. & Whorwell, P. J. (1987). Severe sexual dysfunction in women with the irritable bowel syndrome: comparison with inflammatory bowel disease and duodenal ulceration. British Medical Journal 295, 557558.
Hamera, E. K. & Shontz, F. C. (1978). Perceived positive and negative effects of life-threatening illness. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 22, 419424.
Hammond, K. R., Stewart, T. R., Brehmer, B. & Steinman, D. (1975). Social Judgement Theory. In Human Judgement and Decision Making (ed. Kaplan, M. & Schwartz, S.), pp. 271312. Academic Press: New York.
Hollandsworth, J. G. (1988). Evaluating the impact of medical treatment on the quality of life: a five year update. Social Science & Medicine 26, 425434.
Holmes, K. M. & Salter, R. H. (1982). Irritable bowel syndrome – a safe diagnosis? British Medical Journal 285, 15331534.
Hunt, S. M., McEwen, J. & McKenna, S. P. (1985). Measuring health status: a new tool for clinicians and epidemiologists. Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 35, 185188.
Jenkins, C. D., Stanton, B. A., Savageau, J. A., Denlinger, P. & Klein, M. D. (1983). Coronary artery bypass surgery: physical, psychological, social and economic outcomes six months later. Journal of the American Medical Association 250, 782788.
Joyce, C. R. B. (1987). Psychosocial benefits. In Medicine and Risk-Benefit Decisions (ed. Walker, S. W. and Asscher, W.), pp. 99109. MTP Press: Lancaster.
Joyce, C. R. B. (1988). Quality of life: the state of the art in clinical assessment. In Quality of Life Assessment and Application (ed. Walker, S. W. and Rosser, R. M.), pp. 169179. MTP Press: Lancaster.
Kirwan, J. R., Chaput de Saintonge, D. M., Joyce, C. R. B. & Currey, H. F. L. (1983). Clinical judgement in rheumatoid arthritis H. Judging ‘current disease activity’ in clinical practice. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 42, 645651.
Laborde, J. M. & Powers, M. J. (1980). Satisfaction with life for patients undergoing hemodialysis and patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Nursing Health 3, 1924.
Latimer, P., Sarna, S., Campbell, D., Latimer, M., Waterfall, W. & Daniel, E. E. (1981). Colonic motor and myoelectrical activity: a comparative study of normal subjects, psychoneurotic patients and patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Gastroenterology 80, 893901.
Liu, B. (1973). The Quality of Life in the United States, 1970. Midwest Research Institute: Kansas.
Nakagawa, T., Sugita, M. & Ikemi, Y. (1979). Alexithymic features in digestive diseases. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 32, 191203.
O'Boyle, C. A., McGee, H. M., Hickey, A., O'Malley, K. & Joyce, C. R. B. (1991). But what does the patient think? Individualizing quality of life measurement in hip-replacement surgery. (Submitted for publication).
Pearlman, R. A. & Uhlmann, R. F. (1988). Quality of life in chronic diseases: perceptions of elderly patients. Journal of Gerontology 43, M2530.
Policy PC (1986). Software for Judgement Analysis, Version 2.0. Reference Manual (1st edn.). Albany: Executive Division Services.
Sjodin, I. & Svedlund, J. (1985). Psychological aspects of non-ulcer dyspepsia: a psychosomatic view focusing on a comparison between the irritable bowel syndrome and peptic ulcer disease. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 109 (Suppl), 5158.
Slevin, M. L., Plant, H., Lunch, D., Drinkwater, J. & Gregory, W. M. (1988). Who should measure quality of life, the doctor or the patient? British Journal of Cancer 57, 109122.
Spitzer, W. O., Dobson, A. J., Hall, J., Chesterman, E., Levi, J., Sheperd, R., Battista, R. N. & Catchlove, B. R. (1981). Measuring the quality of life of cancer patients. A concise QL-index for use by physicians. Journal of Chronic Diseases 34, 585597
Stewart, T. R. (1988). Judgement analysis: procedures. In Human Judgment. The Social Judgment Theory View (ed. Brehmer, B. and Joyce, C. R. B.), pp. 4174. North-Holland: Amsterdam.
Tennant, C. (1988). Psychosocial causes of deuodenal ulcer. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 22, 195200.
van Dam, F. S. A. M., Somers, R., van Beek-Couzijn, A. L. (1981). Quality of life: some theoretical issues. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 21, 166S168S.
Waller, S. L. & Miscewicz, J. J. (1969). Prognosis with the irritable bowel syndrome. Lancet i, 753756.
Welch, G. W., Hillman, L. C. & Pomare, E. W. (1985). Psychoneurotic symptomatology in the irritable bowel syndrome: a study of reporters and non-reporters. British Medical Journal 291, 13821384.
Whitehead, W. E., Winget, C., Fedoravicius, A. S., Wolley, S. & Blackwell, B. (1982). Learned illness behaviour in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and peptic ulcer. Digestive Diseases & Sciences 27, 202208.
Williams, A. (1985). Economics of coronary artery bypass grafting. British Medical Journal 291, 326329.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed