Cross-national comparability of the WHOQOL-BREF: A measurement invariance approach

P. Theuns*, J. Hofmans*, M. Mazaheri, F. Van Acker, J.L. Bernheim

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Web of Science)


    Purpose: To evaluate whether the WHOQOL-BREF measures the QOL construct in the same way across nations.
    Methods: Students from Flanders, Belgium and Iran completed the WHOQOL-BREF as part of a larger Quality of Life questionnaire. Their responses were compared using a multi-group confirmatory factor analysis.
    Results: In general, the QOL construct appears rather similar in both cultures; however, participants from both countries seem to respond differently to particular items of the WHOQOL-BREF. Especially for the physical and psychological domain, this is problematic, because none of their indicators works in the same way across samples.
    Conclusions: Notwithstanding some limitations of this study, it must be concluded that the WHOQOL-BREF should only be used with great caution in cross-national comparisons.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-224
    Number of pages6
    JournalQuality of Life Research
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


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