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  1. DePalma, Judith A. PhD, RN


Quality of life (QOL) is recognized as an important indicator of health care and the patient's ability to cope with illness, treatment, and recuperation. Issues that need to be addressed in any proposed QOL research include a clear definition of QOL, a sound rationale for the choice of a measurement instrument, and the value of qualitative data. Measuring QOL in a patient population that has experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI) raises special concerns associated with the physical, behavioral, and cognitive limitations inherent with the specific TBI population. These pertinent issues are discussed with a focus that should be helpful for persons planning QOL projects and those reading and critiquing related literature. A study conducted by the author with patients with severe trauma injury will be used as an example of the impact of these issues on an actual project.