The Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC) scale


A panoply of instruments measuring caregiver burden have been developed since Zarit, Reever, and Bach-Peterson’s (1980) pioneering study investigating carer strain using the Zarit Burden interview. Yet, a dearth of studies exist for parsing the physical, emotional, social and financial well-being of the carer. McMillan (1996) designed a valid and reliable caregiver quality of life index to study such constructs in the partner of the patient. Later, Weitzner and colleagues (1999) modified this scale to serve as a well-being outcome measure specifically for carers of cancer patients.


The CQOLC possesses acceptable validity, test-retest reliability and internal consistency (see Weitzner, Jacobsen, Wagner, Friedland, & Cox, 1999).

Author of Tool:

M. A. Weitzner, P. B. Jacobsen, H. Wagner Jr., J. Friedland, C. Cox

Key references:

McMillan, S. C. (1996). Quality of life of primary caregivers of hospice patients with cancer. Cancer Pract;4:191-8.

Weitzner, M. A., Jacobsen, P. B., Wagner, H., Friedland, J., & Cox, C. (1999). The Caregiver Quality of Life Index–Cancer (CQOLC) Scale: development and validation of an instrument to measure quality of life of the family caregiver of patients with cancer. Quality of Life Research, 8, 55–63.

Zarit, S. H., Reever, K. E., Bach-Peterson, J. (1980). Relatives of the impaired elderly: correlates of feeling of burden. Gerontologist; 20:649 -55.

Primary use / Purpose:

The Caregiver Quality of Life Index- Cancer (CQOLC) scale is a 35-item cancer-specific instrument that assesses the career of a cancer patient’s quality of life, that is, some of the physical, social, emotional, and financial aspects of well-being, and functioning.

Other Information:

Scoring instructions: Highlighted items on questionnaire should be reversed scored.

Content of each item of the CQOLC

  1. Alteration in daily routine

  2. Disruption of sleep

  3. Impact on daily schedule

  4. Satisfaction with sexual functioning

  5. Maintenance of outside activities

  6. Financial strain

  7. Concern about insurance

  8. Economic future

  9. Death of patient

  10. Outlook on life

  11. Level of stress

  12. Spirituality

  13. Day-to-day focus

  14. Sadness

  15. Mental strain

  16. Social support

  17. Guilt

  18. Frustration

  19. Nervousness

  20. Impact of illness on family

  21. Patient’s eating habits

  22. Relationship with patient

  23. Informed about illness

  24. Transportation

  25. Adverse effects of treatment

  26. Responsibility for patient’s care

  27. Focus of caregiving

  28. Family communication

  29. Change in priorities

  30. Protection of patient

  31. Deterioration of patient

  32. Management of patient’s pain

  33. Future outlook

  34. Family support

  35. Family interest in caregiving