A scoping review of the use of visual tools and adapted easy-read approaches in Quality-of-Life instruments for adults

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Purpose: Self-Reporting using traditional text-based Quality-of-Life (QoL) instruments can be difficult for people living with sensory impairments, communication challenges or changes to their cognitive capacity. Adapted communication techniques, such as Easy-Read techniques, or use of pictures could remove barriers to participation for a wide range of people. This review aimed to identify published studies reporting adapted communication approaches for measuring QoL, the methodology used in their development and validation among adult populations. 

Methods: A scoping review of the literature using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) extension for scoping reviews checklist was undertaken. 

Results: The initial search strategy identified 13,275 articles for screening, with 264 articles identified for full text review. Of these 243 articles were excluded resulting in 21 studies for inclusion. The majority focused on the development of an instrument (12 studies) or a combination of development with some aspect of validation or psychometric testing (7 studies). Nineteen different instruments were identified by the review, thirteen were developed from previously developed generic or condition-specific quality of life instruments, predominantly aphasia (7 studies) and disability (4 studies). Most modified instruments included adaptations to both the original questions, as well as the response categories. 

Conclusions: Studies identified in this scoping review demonstrate that several methods have been successfully applied e.g. with people living with aphasia post-stroke and people living with a disability, which potentially could be adapted for application with more diverse populations. A cohesive and interdisciplinary approach to the development and validation of communication accessible versions of QOL instruments, is needed to support widespread application, thereby reducing reliance on proxy assessors and promoting self-assessment of QOL across multiple consumer groups and sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3291-3308
Number of pages18
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number12
Early online date21 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Adults
  • Easy read
  • Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs)
  • Quality of life tools
  • Visual


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