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10-08-2019 | Uitgave 12/2019

Quality of Life Research 12/2019

Development of a mental health recovery module for the WHOQOL

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 12/2019
Melissa J. Rowthorn, D. Rex Billington, Christian U. Krägeloh, Jason Landon, Oleg N. Medvedev
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-019-02265-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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The WHOQOL tools are widely used, multi-faceted, patient-rated, quality of life (QoL) measures, developed by the World Health Organization. The WHOQOL questionnaires are used to assess generic quality of life issues affected by all health problems. This study developed a module to use with the WHOQOL tools to improve their sensitivity to Health Related QoL issues relevant to mental health recovery.


Using a sequential mixed-methods approach, two research stages occurred. A qualitative stage invited 88 participants with experience of mental health recovery, into focus groups and importance rating activities, to identify candidate items for the new module. Following this, a quantitative stage involved 667 participants with, and without, mental health/addiction issues completing online or paper-based questionnaires to analyze which candidate items differentiated between those with and without mental health/addiction issues. Classical test theory and iterative Partial Credit Rasch Analysis were used to identify the most suitable candidate items for a reliable and valid mental health recovery module to be used with the WHOQOL tools.


Seventeen candidate items captured important HRQoL facets relevant to mental health recovery. Rasch analysis removed 10 misfitting items. The final 7-item module, which demonstrated the best Rasch model fit, enquires about recovery beliefs, identifying strengths, self-awareness, acceptance, capacity to relate, feeling understood, and recovery progress. Ordinal-to-interval conversion tables have been developed to optimize measurement precision when using the module.


Important HRQoL issues central to mental health recovery can be reliably evaluated by using the recovery module with the WHOQOL tools.

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