The assessment of health status and quality of life among chronically ill patients is an area of current scientific interest. This paper considers the utility of a short but comprehensive instrument to assess the quality of life for end-stage renal failure patients. the Spitzer QL-Index was completed by 8 nurses for all patients in the Wellington region currently being treated with home hemodialysis (n = 58); hospital hemodialysis (n = 13); and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (n = 37). Results indicated that home hemodialysis patients achieve the highest quality of life in comparison to the other two treatment modalities. It is concluded that the QL-Index has some discriminative validity for this patient population, and its use may contribute to informed decision making by both patients and doctors.