Quality of life assessment in musculo-skeletal health.
Beaudart C., Biver E., Bruyère O., Cooper C., Al-Daghri N., Reginster J-Y., Rizzoli R.
Musculoskeletal disorders affect morbidity, quality of life and mortality, and represent an increasing economic and societal burden in the context of population aging and increased life expectancy. Improvement of quality of life should be one of the priorities of any interventions to prevent and treat musculoskeletal disorders in the ageing population. Two main approaches, namely generic and disease-specific instruments, can be applied to measure health-related quality of life. Among the generic tools available in scientific literature, the short form 36 questionnaire (SF-36) and the Euroqol five item questionnaire (EQ-5D) are two of the most popular questionnaires used to quantify the health related quality of life in people with musculoskeletal disorders. However, because generic tools may not always be able to detect subtle effects of a specific condition on quality of life, a specific tool is highly valuable. Specific tools improve the ability to clinically characterize quality of life in subjects with a specific musculoskeletal disorder, as well as the capacity to assess changes over time in the QoL of these subjects. The recent development of specific tools should help to validate preventive and therapeutic interventions in this field.