Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



AIM: The quality of life (QOL) construct is proposed as a method to assess outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) at multiple levels. The aim of this research is to identify and systematically review QOL assessment tools for adults with all levels of I/DD that could be used within disability service systems to examine the micro (individual), meso (organizational), and macro (system) levels of QOL outcomes. METHOD: A systematic search of the disability and QOL literature published between 1990 and 2014 was conducted in order to identify QOL assessment tools that met the inclusion criteria. 35 articles included in the review produced 25 QOL instruments of which 13 QOL instruments were then compared in greater detail. FINDINGS: Most of the tools reviewed are based on an accepted QOL theoretical domain theory and assess both objective and subjective QOL. Most of the tools utilize Likert-type scoring and are delivered by a facilitated interview process. Only one tool demonstrated acceptable reliability while four tools demonstrated acceptable validity. Most of the tools demonstrated use at the micro, meso, and macro levels. CONCLUSION: QOL assessment tools for adults with I/DD need additional research to demonstrate acceptable reliability and validity.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Meilleur, Steven

Second Committee Member

Hsieh, Chih Wei




quality of life, developmental disability, intellectual disability, assessment, measurement, systematic review

Document Type