The HMQ: measuring health status in the community

Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT The measurement of health outcome is central to the evaluation of medical treatment and intervention. In the past, such measurement has been based on data relating to survival and life expectancy. There is now general acknowledgment that a through assessment of the benefits of health care must examine the quality of life, as well as its quantity. The Health Measurement Questionnaire (HMQ) has been developed as a way of collecting self-report information from which a disability/distress rating could be derived on the Rosser Classification of Illness States. This discussion paper provides a fuller review of the data collected as part of a general population survey in which the HMQ was used as a self-report measure of health status alongside the GHQ and the NHP. The HMQ appears to have both construct and convergent validity. It has also discriminated between groups of the population which differ in terms of health status or in the degree of psychiatric morbidity. Several factors have been shown to contribute to overall distress, particularly pain, sadness/depression and dependence on others. It is evident that there is considerable morbidity in the community. These data reinforce the need for continued measurement of health status within the general population, with the dual aim of identifying areas of need, and then monitoring improvement as services are adjusted to meet that need.

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