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Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31(11):906-13. doi: 10.1080/09638280802356419.

Assessment of quality of life and participation within an outpatient rehabilitation setting.

Author information

Outpatient Department, Rehab Plus, Auckland District Health Board, New Zealand.

Erratum in

  • Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31(13):1107.



To evaluate the use of quality of life and participation measures in routine rehabilitation practice, determine the relationship between two scales and investigate their ability to evaluate change in a general outpatient population over a time of rehabilitation.


This cohort study consisted of 55 patients admitted consecutively to an outpatient rehabilitation centre. All participants completed the WHOQOL-BREF and the London Handicap Scale (LHS) at admission and discharge.


Non-parametric statistical analysis demonstrated a significant change in the total scores of both the WHOQOL-BREF and LHS over time (Z = -4.33, P < 0.001 and Z = -4.40, P < 0.001 respectively) with 'better' scores on completion of rehabilitation. A strong correlation existed between the total WHOQOL-BREF and LHS scores both cross-sectionally (admission and discharge p > 0.7), and longitudinally (p = 0.63).


Our study demonstrated a strong relationship between quality of life and participation, with change shown using both scales over a period of outpatient rehabilitation. Given the findings, it seems appropriate to use only one of these measures. The WHOQOL-BREF has a wider scope, being useful both to evaluate service delivery in a diverse outpatient population or when measuring an individual over time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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