The systematic integration of quality-of-life (QOL) assessment into the clinical setting, although deemed important, infrequently occurs. Barriers include the need for a practical approach perceived as useful and efficient by patients and clinicians and the inability of clinicians to readily identify the value of integrating QOL assessments into the clinical setting. We discuss the use of QOL data in patient care and review approaches used to integrate QOL assessment into the clinical setting. Additionally, we highlight select QOL measures that have been successfully applied in the clinical setting. These measures have been shown to identify key QOL issues, improve patient-clinician communications, and improve and enhance patient care. However, the work done to date requires continued development. Continued research is needed that provides information about benefits and addresses limitations of current approaches.
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