Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

The Ferrans and Powers Quality of Life Index (QLI) produces a unique, very individualized, value-based assessment of quality of life. Heading link

The Ferrans and Powers Quality of Life Index (QLI) was developed to measure quality of life in terms of satisfaction with life, by Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Marjorie Powers, PhD, RN, at the University of Illinois Chicago. The QLI is unique in the way that importance ratings are used to weight satisfaction responses, such that scores reflect satisfaction with the aspects of life that are valued by the individual. Measuring quality of life in this way produces a very individualized, value-based assessment of quality of life from the perspective of the individual assessed.

The QLI has been translated into 30 languages and used throughout the world, with results reported in more than 400 published research studies and cited in 4,000+ publications. Baseline QLI scores have been predictive of survival in breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, independent of cancer stage. The QLI also is one of the most commonly used questionnaires in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs across the USA. Recommended by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation for more than 20 years, the QLI has been able to demonstrate improvements in quality of life during the rehabilitation process.

The instrument was developed originally in 1984 and revised in 1998. Subsequently, 15 versions of the QLI have been developed: one for the general population (Generic Version) and 14 for use with various health conditions. A common set of items forms the basis for all versions, and items pertinent to each health condition were added to create the illness-specific versions.


Appropriate for use as a self-administered questionnaire or in interview format. The QLI takes  approximately 10 minutes for self-administration. No special training is required.


The QLI consists of two parts: the first measures satisfaction with various aspects of life and the second  measures importance of those same things. Both parts are used to score the instrument; importance  ratings are used to weight the satisfaction responses, so that scores reflect the respondents’ satisfaction  with the aspects of life they value. Items that are rated as more important have a greater impact on  scores than those of lesser importance.

All versions of the QLI produce five scores: a total quality of life score and four subscale scores  measuring four life domains (health and functioning subscale, psychological/spiritual subscale, social  and economic subscale, and family subscale). Step-by-step scoring instructions are available on this  website, as is a computer program written for use with SPSS-PC. Excel is available for some versions.

Reading level

Fourth grade


Developed originally in English. Translations available in the following languages on this website: Arabic,  Chinese: Simplified, Chinese: Taiwan, Croatian, Czechoslovakian, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Greek:  Diamandi, Greek: Ioanna, Hausa, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian,  Norwegian, Persian-Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Urdu.  If you need the QLI in a language that is not available on this website, please contact Dr. Ferrans at the  address listed in this website. There are translations that have been completed (or are in process) that  are not yet posted on the website.

Reliability, Validity, and Sensitivity

The QLI is a well-established instrument with substantial evidence of reliability, validity and sensitivity.  This information is reported in its own section on this website.

Copyright status

Copyright 1984 and 1998 (USA) by Carol Estwing Ferrans and Marjorie Powers.

Charges for use of the QLI

The QLI is a copyrighted instrument. The QLI is made available through this website for use in non-profit  research and non-profit clinical practice, for which there is no charge for use of the QLI. This permission  applies only to use of the QLI as it can be printed from this website (for example, paper copies printed  from the website). This permission does not apply to incorporation of the QLI or any of its items into  computer software, including software for administration by computer. This permission also does not  apply to any for-profit use of the QLI or to any sales of materials including the QLI. A licensing agreement  is required for incorporation of the QLI into computer software and for all for-profit use. A licensing  agreement also is required for all sales of materials including the QLI. Contact Dr. Carol Ferrans directly at the University of Illinois  Chicago regarding licensing agreements.

Earliest Published Reports of the QLI

  • Ferrans, C., & Powers, M. (1985). Quality of Life Index: Development and psychometric properties. Advances in Nursing Science, 8, 15-24.
  • Ferrans, C. E. (1990). Development of a Quality of Life Index for patients with cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 17(3), 15-19.
  • Ferrans, C., & Powers, M. (1992). Psychometric assessment of the Quality of Life Index. Research in Nursing and Health, 15, 29-38.
  • Ferrans, C. (1996). Development of a conceptual model of quality of life. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 10(3), 293-304.