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August 28, 1996

Quality of Life

Author Affiliations

UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Piscataway, NJ

JAMA. 1996;276(8):652-653. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540080074037

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


It is obvious that quality of life is of central importance to patients, but few studies of the effect of medical interventions on quality of life appeared until the 1960s. After a slow start in that decade, the number of articles in the field has increased exponentially. In 1993 more than 1200 new articles were published relating solely to quality of life and cancer. This growth is fueled by improvements in measurement instruments that make it possible to document quality-of-life differences and the increasing realization that quality of life does not always correlate well with length of life or disease-free survival. Indeed, many important interventions for patients with chronic diseases, such as low-vision programs and certain rehabilitation efforts, may primarily affect quality of life while having little effect on measurable physiologic parameters.

This book comprises 127 short reviews (chapters) written by more than 200 authors, who approach this exploding field