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

Peter Theuns, Joeri Hofmans, Mehrdad Mazaheri, Frederik Van Acker, Jean Bernheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate whether the WHOQOL-BREF measures the QOL construct in the same way across nations.

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.

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.

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 pages5
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue numberDOI: 10.1007/s11136-009-9577-9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2010


  • Quality-of-life construct
  • Measurement invariance
  • Intercultural comparability
  • Life domains


Dive into the research topics of 'Cross-national comparability of the WHOQOL-BREF: A measurement invariance approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this