Health related ‘Quality of Life’ questionnaires have been developed in increasing numbers during recent years. These questionnaires are intended both for use in daily clinical practice and for research. They offer a quick, empirically proven method of assessing an individual’s well-being.
These tools are highly appropriate for use in the disability claim process. They include general, generic inventories, condition or disease-specific questionnaires, and special function questionnaires.
In busy general practice there has been a need for an instrument to obtain additional information about a patient’s functional capacity and the outcome of interventions. The general questionnaires are designed to give a basic assessment.
Let’s take a look at one of these questionnaires in more detail, the COOP WONCA. This was developed by a partnership between the Dartmouth Medical Center COOP project and the World Organization for National Colleges, Academies and Academic Association of General Practitioners.
This questionnaire is a general purpose tool used to assess a patient’s functional health measured on six functional areas:
- Physical Fitness
- Daily Activities
- Social Activities
- Change in Health
- Overall Health
The self-reported questionnaire takes no more time than measuring blood pressure: 3–5 minutes. The questions are easy to understand. Scores can be directly compared with the individual patient’s earlier scores or with reference values.
One interesting aspect of the design of the questionnaire is the inclusion of pictures within the scale to assist in the clearer understanding of the meaning of the scale. Below is an example of one of these areas, “Feelings”.
The charts reflect the patients’ assessment of his/her functional capacity at the given time. Therefore, it is most appropriate to have the patients themselves answer the questions. In case the patient cannot complete the charts, it is possible to use a proxy or a provider of health care who knows the patient well.
The Claim Lab has developed a tool to enable these questionnaires to be delivered to claimants, within a secure web environment, to self-complete.
Interested in hearing more, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COOP/WONCA Charts in clinical work and research – Bent Guttorm Bentsen, Bård Natvig and Michael Winnem
COOP/WONCA Charts – C van Weel, C. König, F.W.M.M. Touw, N.P. van Duijn, B. Meyboom – World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA)