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Information for WHOQOL Users

Thank you for your interest in the WHOQOL (World Health Organisation Quality of Life Assessment). We are continuing to develop and standardise various versions of the WHOQOL; internationally these scales have been administered to more than 16,000 people in over 40 countries world-wide.

Core Instruments

The WHOQOL-100 contains 100 questions covering 25 facets or dimensions of quality of life that have a high level of international consensus. Some socio-demographic and health information is also obtained. There is an optional appendix of questions about the importance of these facets to quality of life (Importance Questions). The UK-WHOQOL-100 includes two additional national questions covering issues that are important to people in UK. A short form of 26 items - the WHOQOL Bref - has now been developed. These versions of the WHOQOL have good properties of reliability and validity both in UK and internationally. Sensitivity to change is still being fully investigated.

Modules for Specific Conditions or Diseases

To satisfy measurement requirements in certain diseases and conditions, some modules of specific items have been created for addition to the core instrument. The WHOQOL-SRPB contains 32 further questions covering 8 facets on spirituality, religion and personal beliefs related to health and quality of life. English language versions of WHOQOL modules are being developed for research on older adults (WHOQOL-Old), for people living with HIV and Aids (WHOQOL-HIV), and for those in Chronic Pain (UK only). Documentation for the WHOQOL-HIV and Chronic Pain Module is only partially available at present. The WHOQOL-Old questionnaire is expected to be available at the end of 2004.

Terms and Conditions of Use

Permission to use the WHOQOL is granted for each individual study. Further permission is needed if you intend to use it in any other research or for other purposes. Any permission obtained from the UK Centre to use one of the WHOQOL instruments pertains to the UK English versions only. If you wish to use any other language version e.g. Australian English, US English, you will need to obtain permission from the Principal Investigator in the relevant Centre to use their language version.

Before registering as a WHOQOL User, please read the following Terms and Conditions:

Users agree that they will not modify, abridge, condense, translate, adapt, recast or transform any version of the UK WHOQOL instruments in any manner or form including but not limited to any minor or significant changes in the wording, organisation or administration procedures for the UK WHOQOL instruments without prior written agreement of the Director (Professor S Skevington, s.m.skevington@bath.ac.uk).

You agree that you will not reproduce copies of the UK WHOQOL instruments except for the limited purpose of generating sufficient copies for use in investigations stated hereunder and shall in no event distribute them to third parties by sale, rental, lease, lending or any other means or use them for conducting studies other than those specified in the UK WHOQOL User Agreement form.


The UK WHOQOL was developed by the World Health Organisation with the WHO Field Centre for the Study of Quality of Life at the University of Bath. The position taken by WHO on intellectual property rights for the WHOQOL in its various forms is that each Centre jointly owns the copyright to its own language-specific instrument with the World Health Organisation.


The use of the UK WHOQOL is currently free of author’s royalty fees except where Users have obtained funding from a pharmaceutical company or other commercial organisation, where a fee of £350-00 Sterling is currently charged for use in a single study. The cheque must be made payable to the University of Bath and sent to the Director: Professor S. Skevington, WHO Field Centre for the Study of Quality of Life, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK.

Provision of Data

All data, results and reports obtained or prepared in connection with the UK WHOQOL versions shall remain the Users property. However the UK Centre may request the User to share the data, results and reports obtained through the use of the UK WHOQOL and its versions. This will be used by the Centre to continue to develop the WHOQOL in UK.

Users are requested to send to the Director a copy of their raw WHOQOL data on diskette or electronic file within 6 months of the end of the study. Before dispatch, Users should remove participant’s names from the database and substitute a unique Study Identity code for each participant, to maintain confidentiality. Data contributed by Users that is included in the publications of the UK Centre will be acknowledged in the usual way. The UK Centre may provide data to third parties within the WHOQOL collaboration for the purpose of continuing the international work in research and education, and specifically in the evaluation of cross-cultural equivalence and the development of reference values for the WHOQOL or for any other similar project.


Use of WHOQOL-UK questionnaires must be acknowledged in your publications using the following wording ‘The material in this publication is the result of use of the WHOQOL-UK and the assistance of the University of Bath and the World Health Organisation is acknowledged’

In the case of the publication of study results, Users of the UK WHOQOL-100 shall cite Skevington SM (1999), and for the UK WHOQOL-Bref, Skevington and Lifford (forthcoming - was presented in the Publication list on this website).

Confidentiality and Liability

All and any information related to the WHOQOL including but not limited to the following: information concerning clinical investigations, creations, systems, materials, software, data and know-how, translations, improvements ideas, specifications, documents, records, notebooks, drawings and any repositories or representation of such information, whether oral or in writing or software stored, are herein referred to as confidential information. In consideration of the disclosure of any such confidential information, you agree to hold such confidential information in confidence and not to divulge it in whole or part to any third party except for the purpose specified in these Terms and Conditions of Use.

Under no circumstances may members of the UK WHOQOL Centre or the University of Bath be held liable for direct or indirect consequential damage resulting from the use of the UK WHOQOL in its various forms. Neither the University of Bath nor the UK WHOQOL Centre makes any warranty that use of the UK WHOQOL will be fit for the purpose you wish to use it for, and no liability in this respect will be accepted.

Access to the Questionnaires

Once your registration has been accepted, you will be given access to documents relating to the instrument you wish to use. It is only possible to download the files for one of the WHOQOL family of questionnaires on each occasion. You must download all the files for the instrument you have selected. Template and syntax files have been created in SPSS (version 10) for data entry and scoring and you will need to have installed SPSS on your computer to view them.

For the WHOQOL-100 and WHOQOL-Bref these documents include:

For WHOQOL instruments other than the WHOQOL-100 or WHOQOL-Bref, the full information is not currently available.

Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions are provided on the website but if you have other questions or need further information please contact us.

Please print this information and keep a copy.


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