Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics vol:78 issue:4 pages:212-219
BACKGROUND: Quality of life (QoL) measurement in medicine has gone a long way. It has gained popularity as a more humanitarian outcome measurement. In this paper, a review is given of its historical backgrounds with a special focus on the use of QoL assessment in psychiatry. Different theoretical concepts are discussed. A closer look is taken at the use of QoL measurements in antidepressant trials. METHODS: An analysis was performed on the use of QoL measurement in recent antidepressant trials of duloxetine and escitalopram. RESULTS: QoL measurement was found to have abandoned its initial purposes, and to have been used without any theoretical framework. CONCLUSIONS: Although frequently used in antidepressant trials, the analysis and reporting of results is virtually non-existent. It remains unclear if QoL measurement, as currently used, gives any information that is not already captured by more formal depression rating scales. The question then remains whether QoL measurement in antidepressant trials has any added value and, if so, whether this is just a story of missed opportunities.