Monitoring and enhancement of a patient's health-related quality of life (HRQL) is an important element of research and medical care. In a previous article, we provided an overview of HRQL measurement. Now we will review the structure and properties of the most commonly used generic and digestive disease-specific HRQL instruments and illustrates their use in the gastroenterology and hepatology literature. Generic measures have been used to study specific diseases as well as to compare HRQL in GI and nongastrointestinal disease. Disease specific instruments have been developed for inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, liver disease, and GI malignancy. Further work is needed to compare disease-specific instruments and to define the most appropriate uses of HRQL measurement in clinical trial and community practice settings.
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