WHOQoL Assessment Group

The World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment Group was initiated in 1991. The aim of this group was the development of an international quality of life assessment which could be used cross – culturally among sick and healthy adults. Fifteen countries were involved in this initial work. Since then, the WHOQoL Assessment Group which is composed of 25 countries worldwide, including Norway, have developed the following instruments; the WHOQoL – 100, the WHOQoL – Bref which has been translated into 55 languages, the WHOQoL – Old Module, Attitudes to Ageing Assessment, and a Spiritual – Religious and Personal Beliefs Module.

The development of all WHOQoL instruments and modules have been grounded in the Group’s definition of quality of life which is “the individual's perception of their position in life, in the context and culture and value systems in which they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns”. (WHOQOL Group 1995, 1996). All the WHOQoL instruments and modules have been developed collaboratively have been widely field-tested for their psychometric properties.

Using the WHOQOL Instruments


People wanting to use the WHOQoL instruments should take contact with the WHOQoL Coordinating Center in their individual countries. All the WHOQoL instruments and modules are copyrighted and may only be used with permission gained from one of the WHOQoL Coordinating Centers. Each WHOQoL Centre is required to maintain a database of registered users to ensure that copyright is not breached.

Diakonova University College is and has served as the WHOQoL Coordinating Center in Norway for 15 years. The contact person for obtaining information regarding both Norwegian and English versions of the instruments / modules and other questions can be addressed to Professor Mary Kalfoss; email: MMary.Kalfoss@diakonova.no

Norwegian WHOQoL registration

The Norwegian WHOQoL Coordinating Center requires potential users to sign a formal contract with Diakonova University College where users agree not to change or modify the original instruments and modules. When this contract is received a coding syntax of the instruments is sent upon request.The Norwegian Center keeps an update list of researchers who use versions of the WHOQoL instruments to aid researchers in finding common interests. Presently, this address file includes both international and national researchers.Consequently,potential users are asked to send a short summary of their project focus to keep on file. 


International publication guidelines are available from the WHOQoL Coordinating Centre at the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland. These guidelines state that WHOQoL users reserve the right to publish information regarding their reliability and validity of the WHOQoL instruments, but are NOT authorised to produce modified versions of the WHOQoL instruments without permission from the WHOQoL Coordinating Centre, Geneva.

Any investigator who wishes to publish such a finding is asked to submit a copy of the manuscript to the WHOQoL Coordinating Centre, Geneva, for review. Please address all international correspondence to:

Mrs Sibel Volkan
Health Statistics and Informatics
The World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Tel 00 41 22 791 2334
Fax 22 791 1584
E-mail: whoqol@who.ch

Instrument Versions in English

Enquieries can be directed to either Mrs Sibel Volkan at WHO in Geneva or Mary Kalfoss at mail to: Mary.Kalfoss@diakonova.no in Norway

WHOQoL documents and references

Description of the WHOQoL Instruments and references (pdf)

WHOQOL-BREF manual (pdf)

WHOQOL-OLD Final Manual (pdf)


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