International Society for Quality of Life Research
International Society for Quality of Life Research

Response Shift

Purpose of the Special Interest Group

The purpose of the Response Shift Special Interest Group is to bring together investigators and clinicians who are interested in the influence of response shift (a change in an individual’s values, internal standards, and conceptualization of QOL) on QOL assessments.

The ultimate objective is to better understand when and why response shift occurs such that healthcare professionals and researchers using patient reported outcomes across various disciplines can recognize and account for response shift.

Communication and Information Sharing

  • Response Shift Reference List: Dr. Mirjam Sprangers has graciously shared a list of response shift references with us. Click here to access the reference list. If you notice that an article that you are aware of is missing, or you would like to add a new article of your own, please contact one of the co-chairs – we will update the list at least twice yearly.
  • Abstract reviews: Experienced response shift SIG members have offered to review abstracts for any investigator/student who would like feedback on their response shift related abstract prior to submitting the abstract to ISOQOL for peer review. We encourage you to use this service! Please contact one of the SIG leaders listed below for information.

We encourage active communication between members.

  • Connect with other Response Shift researchers using the ISOQOL Membership Directory.
  • Review the Quality of Life Quarterly, ISOQOL's quarterly newsletter, to keep up to date.
  • Consider the Response Shift SIG Teamwork and ISOQOL LinkedIn as a way to connect with fellow SIG members.
  • Contact one of the leaders listed below for more information.


  • 2019 Annual Report
  • 2018 Annual Report
  • Annual Conference activities vary from year to year, but here are examples of a few conference activities:
    • Response Shift Symposium in 2016: Symposium 7: “The impact of response shift on clinically significant change: Methodological advances in interpreting change in patient-reported outcomes over time”, Saturday, 22 October, 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM.  Moderator: Carolyn E. Schwartz. Discussant: Sandra Nolte
    • Special event: Public defense of the PhD thesis of  Antoine Vanier "The complexity of analyzing and interpreting changes observed over time in Patient-Reported Outcomes: methodological issues in Response Shift research." Doctoral committee: Mirjam Sprangers, Frans Oort, Carolyn E. Schwartz, and Nancy E. Mayo. Helsinki Room, The Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel

Online Education


Co-Chair: Lene Kongsgaard Nielsen, MD

Dr. Kongsgaard Nielsen is a PhD student and medical doctor with a specialist degree in hematology (blood and bone marrow diseases). Her research has a primary focus on PROs in population-based registries and clinical cancer trials. After entering the field of QOL research and learning about Response Shift and QOL appraisal, this became one of her main areas of interest as well. Dr. Kongsgaard Nielsen states, "I that we can gain more profit in benefit of the patients, if we learn more about the QOL appraisal processes and response shift mechanisms in clinical research and the daily clinic."

Co-Chair: Tolulope Sajobi, PhD

Dr. Sajobi is associate professor and senior research statistician at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine. His research program focuses on the measurement and analysis of patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) to aid clinical decisions in chronic disease populations. He investigates methodological issues related to measurement bias (differential item functioning and response shift) and missing data in patient-reported outcomes data and their implications for design of clinical trials and development of prognostic tools.


Past Leaders

Sara Ahmed, PhD
Ruth Barclay, PhD
Leah McClimans, PhD
Lena Ring, PhD
Véronique Sébille, PhD, ScD

555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, WI USA 53202
Phone: +1 (414) 918-9797; Fax: +1 (414) 276-3349

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Throughout the website, ISOQOL provides outside resources that may provide assistance to people interested in health-related quality of life and its assessment. It is recommended that readers conduct their own evaluation of the information outside of ISOQOL activities.


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