Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures typically do not incorporate patients’ preferences for domains such as physical, emotional, functional and social/family well-being, which may compromise precision.
A forced-choice domain-preference measure was developed to assess the importance of HRQOL domains. About 194 cancer patients completed the domain-preference measure, along with measures of HRQOL, coping, adjustment, and life satisfaction.
Patients ranked emotional well-being as most important and the loss of social-family well-being as the most difficult to do without. A weighting algorithm revealed no advantage to incorporating individuals’ domain preferences in HRQOL assessment; however, preliminary evidence suggested that HRQOL measurement may be more accurate in predicting outcomes for individuals with no distinct domain preferences than those with distinct preference profiles.
This study provides preliminary evidence for the validity of current measures of HRQOL, which may inherently take into account patients’ domain preferences.