BACKGROUND: Health-related quality of life (QoL) has become a crucial outcome in medical care. However, few studies have assessed physician knowledge of QoL and rate of physicians adopting QoL measures in clinical practice. The present study aimed at assessing the level of knowledge of QoL and the perceived importance of incorporating QoL assessment in clinical practice among physicians of a tertiary level academic hospital in Rome, Italy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A survey study performed through the distribution of a questionnaire assessing knowledge of QoL studies that used the SF-36 scale, participation in studies evaluating QoL as well as knowledge of journals publishing articles on QoL Physicians and residents at the hospital Policlinico Gemelli, Catholic University of Rome. RESULTS: Three-hundred nine physicians completed the questionnaire. Thirty-eight percent % reported knowing studies on QoL and using their results in clinical practice or for research purposes; 29% reported knowing the SF-36 questionnaire; 30% stated that at least one study assessing QoL had been conducted in their department. Fourty-six percent % stated that QoL must influence much or very much diagnostic choices and an even higher percentage reported that QoL must influence much or very much therapeutic and palliative strategies (70.8% and 91.3%, respectively). Reported barriers to the use of QoL measures in clinical practice were related to time constraints (8.7%) but also to doubts on methodological issues of QoL (30.7%). The large majority of physicians (94.3%) would have used more expensive drugs if these could improve QoL. CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows that in a tertiary level academic italian hospital one third of the physicians, reported to know QoL measures and that more than 80% of them would like to use QoL in their daily clinical practice. Future studies are needed to identify the best strategies to implement the use of QoL measures in clinical practice.