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Developing a brief, yet valid, set of measures was a key design goal.Another key goal was to identify (via expert consensus) the most important underlying concepts measured by lengthier, validated, generic HRQOL measures such as the Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form 36 (SF-36) and the Quality of Well-Being Scale (QWB), as well as the concept of years of healthy life (YHL) embedded in national 10-year health promotion goals.And in a direct comparison with several rheumatic condition-specific health status and psychological measures, the CDC HRQOL-4 measures validly distinguished groups of patients with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis .
Continuous monitoring of population HRQOL gives public health agencies current health data they need to assess, protect, and promote population health.
An "unhealthy days" summary measure based on the second and third questions estimates the overall number of recent days when physical or mental health was not good.
The complement of this summary measure is "healthy days", the number of days estimated to be healthy.
Tracking population HRQOL over time also helps identify health disparities, evaluate progress on achieving broad health goals, and inform healthy public policy.
These applications complement those of clinical research and practice, where HRQOL assessment measures patient-centered outcomes from medical, surgical, and behavioral interventions.