The Quality of Life Index (QLI) was developed by Ferrans and Powers to measure quality of life in terms of satisfaction with life (Ferrans & Powers, 1985). Quality of life is defined by Ferrans as "a person's sense of well-being that stems from satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the areas of life that are important to him/her" Ferrans, 1990, p.15). The QLI measures both satisfaction and importance of various aspects of life. Importance ratings are used to weight the satisfaction responses, so that scores reflect the respondents' satisfaction with the aspects of life they value. Items that are rated as more important have a greater impact on scores than those of lesser importance. The instrument consists of two parts: the first measures satisfaction with various aspects of life and the second measures importance of those same aspects. Scores are calculated for quality of life overall and in four domains: health and functioning, psychological/ spiritual, social and economic, and family (Ferrans, 1996; Ferrans & Powers,1985; Ferrans & Powers, 1992; Ferrans, 1990; Warnecke, Ferrans, Johnson, & et al., 1996).

A number of versions of the QLI have been developed for use with various disorders and the general population, and have been reported in more than 200 published studies. A common set of items forms the basis for all versions, and items pertinent to each disorder have been added to create the illness-specific versions. Scores for all versions range from 0 - 30, which facilitates comparisons of findings across different versions. General population data are available for interpretive purposes.

Appropriate for use as a self-administered questionnaire or in interview format. The instrument takes approximately 10 minutes for self-administration. No special training is required.

Five scores are produced that measure quality of life overall and quality of life in four domains: health and functioning, social and economic, psychological/spiritual, and family. Step-by-step scoring instructions are available on this web site, as is a computer program written for use with SPSS-PC.

Reading level
Fourth grade

Developed originally in English. Translations available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese(simplified), Chinese(Taiwan), Danish, French, Hebrew, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish.

Reliability, Validity, and Sensitivity
The QLI is a well-established instrument with substantial evidence of reliability, validity and sensitivity. This information is reported in its own section on this web site.

Fees for use
None for non-profit research and non-profit clinical practice. This permission applies only to use of the QLI as it can be printed from this website (for example, paper copies printed from the website). This permission does not apply to incorporation of the QLI or any of its items into computer software, including software for administration by computer. This permission also does not apply to any for-profit use of the QLI or to any sales of materials including the QLI. A licensing agreement is required for incorporation of the QLI into computer software and for all for-profit use. A licensing agreement also is required for all sales of materials including the QLI. Contact Dr. Carol Ferrans directly at the University of Illinois at Chicago regarding licensing agreements.

Copyright status
Copyright 1984 and 1998 (USA) by Carol Estwing Ferrans and Marjorie Powers

Contact name and address
Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD, FAAN
University of Illinois at Chicago
College of Nursing (M/C 802)
845 S. Damen Avenue - 7th floor
Chicago, IL 60612 U.S.A.
Phone (312) 996-8445
Fax (312) 996-4979

Ferrans, C. (1996). Development of a conceptual model of quality of life. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 10(3), 293-304.

Ferrans, C., & Powers, M. (1985). Quality of Life Index: Development and psychometric properties. Advances in Nursing Science, 8, 15-24.

Ferrans, C., & Powers, M. (1992). Psychometric assessment of the Quality of Life Index. Research in Nursing and Health, 15, 29-38.

Ferrans, C. E. (1990). Development of a quality of life index for patients with cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 17(3), 15-19.

Warnecke, R., Ferrans, C., Johnson, T., et. al. (1996). Measuring quality of life in culturally diverse populations. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs, 20, 29-38.