Please read each item and circle the number that best describes how satisfied you are at this time. Please answer each item even if you do not currently participate in an activity or have a relationship. You can be satisfied or dissatisfied with not doing the activity or having the relationship. The scale surveys three areas of life: (1) Relationships and Material Well-Being, (2) Health and Functioning, and (3) Personal, Social and Community Commitment.

Please rate each answer on a scale from 1 to 7 as follows:

7 = Delighted; 6= Pleased; 5= Mostly Satisified; 4=Mixed

3= Mostly Dissatisfied; 2= Unhappy; 1= Terrible


  1. Material comforts home, food, conveniences, financial security.
  2. Health – being physically fit and vigorous.
  3. Relationships with parents, siblings & other relatives- communicating, visiting, helping.
  4. Having and rearing children.
  5. Close relationships with spouse or significant other.
  6. Close friends.
  7. Helping and encouraging others, volunteering, giving advice.
  8. Participating in organizations and public affairs.
  9. Learning- attending school, improving understanding, getting additional knowledge.
  10. Understanding yourself – knowing your assets and limitations – knowing what life is about.
  11. Work – job or in home.
  12. Expressing yourself creatively.
  13. Socializing – meeting other people, doing things, parties, etc.
  14. Reading, listening to music, or observing entertainment.
  15. Participating in active recreation.
  16. Independence, doing for yourself.


The instrument is scored by summing the items to make a total score. A high total score indicates that you feel overall satisfied with your life and the way things are and thus have a higher quality of life.

If you have a low overall score or scored low in a particular area, take it as an opportunity to improve and make positive changes in your life. Sometimes, we feel dissatisfied with our life but cannot say why, so identifying the particular area that is lacking will help you improve your overall life satisfaction

Here are a few figures for comparison sake:
Average total score for healthy populations is about 90.
For rheumatic disease groups, the average score ranges are 83 for rheumatoid arthritis, 84 for systemic lupus erythematosus, 87 for osteoarthritis, and 92 for young adults with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Average total scores for other conditions range from 61 for Israeli patients with posttraumatic stress disorder, to 70 for fibromyalgia, to 82 for psoriasis, urinary incontinence and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
All of these means come from descriptive studies or experimental pretest data. And like many QOL instruments, the means tend to be quite negatively skewed with most patients reporting some degree of satisfaction with most domains of their lives (Burckhardt CS & Anderson KL, 2003).


Burckhardt CS, Woods SL, Schultz AA, Ziebarth DM (1989). Quality of life of adults with chronic illness: A psychometric study. Research in Nursina and Health, 12, 347-354

Burckhardt, CS, Clark SR, Bennett RM (1993). Fibromyalgia and quality of life: A comparative analysis. Journal of Rheumatology, 20, 475-479.

Burckhardt CS, Anderson KL. The Quality of Life Scale (QOLS): reliability, validity, and utilization. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2003 Oct 23;1:60. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-1-60. PMID: 14613562; PMCID: PMC269997.

Flanagan JC (1978). A research approach to improving our quality of life. American Psychologist, 33, 138-147.

Flanagan JC (1982). Measurement of quality of life: Current state of the art. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 63, 56-59.



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