Ternary graph as a questionnaire: A new approach to assessment of quality of life?

R. Brown, L. Tomasello, D. A. Mitchell*, A. Sebald, S. Stepney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was prompted by awareness of the importance of research into quality of life (QoL) for patients with diseases of the head and neck, the important part questionnaires currently play in this field, and awareness of the "questionnaire fatigue" experienced by many patients. Our multidisciplinary research group raised coincidental awareness of the widespread use of ternary graphs in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities as a graphical tool for quantitative, semiquantitative, or purely graphical characteristics of ternary mixtures. We explored how the basic properties of ternary graphs could be translated into an interactive electronic tool as an alternative to conventional questionnaires. We have described how this was done, and offered open access to an interactive ternary-graph based (self) assessment tool, specifically designed for the needs of patients with conditions of the head and neck. Finally, have we made open-source code available for those who may wish to adapt or develop the tool for further applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-684
Number of pages6
JournalBritish journal of oral & maxillofacial surgery
Early online date18 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Assessment
  • Cancer
  • Mouth
  • Quality of Life
  • Questionnaires
  • Ternary graphs

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