Quality of life studies

This page tells you about quality of life studies and questionnaires. These look at how your treatment or illness affects you.

Quality of life assessment

Many trials include a quality of life assessment as part of the bigger trial, especially if the trial is comparing treatments. It may be included as part of the main trial. Or it may be classed as a separate quality of life study (sometimes called a sub study).


You will probably be asked to fill in some questionnaires as part of the study. You could be asked

  • How you are managing to go to work
  • If you are having to do anything differently at home
  • If you feel more or less tired than usual
  • If you are more or less anxious or depressed
  • What side effects you have had
  • How you feel generally

You may be asked how making trips to the hospital has affected you.

Keeping a diary

You may also be asked to keep a diary. This could contain notes about how you feel after your treatment, or when you get a particular side effect and how long it lasts. Or you may note how often you need to take painkillers.

Some of the questions may seem odd, but it is important to know how treatments affect people as well as how well they work.

Benefits of improving quality of life

Improving patients' quality of life is often a very important aim of treatment. Patients are more likely to stick with a treatment if it has fewer side effects or if they don't have to go to the hospital so often.

If you want to know how a particular question in your trial helps the research, ask your research nurse or doctor.

Related information

Read about types of clinical trials.

Find out how to join a clinical trial.

Last reviewed

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Find a trial

Plain English campaign

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 2 out of 5 based on 7 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page