Objectives. To present advances in the quality-of-life research methodology in chronic illness.
Review. In most countries the problem of quality of life (QoL) in chronic conditions becomes particularly important since this population of patients is growing due to the development of treatments and medical techniques on one hand, and to the increasing life expectancy on the other. The paper presents the generally accepted definition of the Health-Related Quality of Life, (HRQoL), its determinants, as well as generic and specific HRQoL assessment scales used in research on various chronic conditions. Moreover, questionnaires for the evaluation of cognitive deficits and mood disorders frequently associated with somatic diseases are discussed. An analysis of research findings obtained in multi-center studies using physical and psychosocial functioning assessment scales is presented, allowing to evaluate the importance and effect of primary and secondary mental disorders concurrent with somatic conditions on the patients ' quality of life.
Conclusions. Research methodology and interpretation of multifactorially determined relationships concerning QoL in patients with chronic illness still require some corrections that might contribute to an improvement of not only treatment efficacy, but also management and economics of medical care.