Assessing Quality of life (QL) in clinical
trials can be an important part of deciding whether a new
treatment is worthwhile.
For example, two treatments may be equally effective in treating
a disease, but one may cause more side effects, or mean more visits
to hospital, or have to be given by injection rather than as a
To assess how different treatments affect patients quality of
life we usually ask patients to complete questionnaires, and at the
MRC Clinical Trials Unit, senior staff in our Cancer Group have
carried out a lot of pioneering work related to how best to
measure people’s quality of life in clinical trials.