This study was done to analyze research trends and to suggest future directions for nursing research on the quality of life (QL) in Korea. The purposes of this study were to describe systematically 10 years of QL nursing, and to identify patterns of tools and significant variables on studies of QL. This article reviewed 71 nursing researches on QL between 1987 and 1996, by examining them according to the period of publication, research for a degree or not, research design, type of subjects, data collection methods, measurement instruments and range of reliabilities, type of nursing intervention, and association of QL and related variables. The findings of the analysis can be summarized as follows: 1. The number of studies related to QL increased from 1987 to 1994. But they have decreased since 1995. 48 of them(67.6%) identified surveys and correlational studies. 2. In all the titles of the studies, there were 7 types of concepts, including QL, quality satisfaction, life satisfaction, and well-being. Among them, QL was the most often used. 3. The subjects of 21 studies were healthy people. In 49 studies, patients had various illnesses. The majority of the patients were hemodialysis patients and cancer patients. Questionnaires were used for data collection in 58 studies. 56 studies were done for the thesis of a degree, while those in the remaining studies were not for degrees. 4. The research designs were various, except in the thesis for a doctorate. There were many more experimental studies(57.1%) done in the thesis for a doctorate. 5. The types of intervention were categorized as exercise(6), supportive care(3), reminiscence (2), relaxation(1), music(1), and hospice care(1). 6. As measurement tools, 14 types of tools relating to QL were used. 11 of them were composed of multiple dimensions. Among them, the QL Scale by You-Ja Ro(1988) was the most widely used in the studies. In the following, the Life Satisfaction Index by Jin Yun(1982), the Quality of life Scale of National Conference of Cancer nursing (1983), and the Life Satisfaction Index by Wood, Wylie and Sheafor(1969) were used. The reliabilities of the QL Scale were reported in 63 studies, and the Cronbach's alpha coefficients were over 0.7 in 60 cases. The quality of life scales included five dimensions; such as physical, psychological, social, economical, and spiritual dimensions. 7. There were two categories of factors influencing the quality of life: First, factors that cannot be changed by nursing intervention were; age, educational level, gender, marital status, income, employment status, occupation, number of family members, religion, and illness history. Second, factors that can be changed by nursing intervention were; physical activity, health status, the presence of complications, support, self-esteem, stress, self-efficacy, activities of daily life, physical strength, satifaction with life, and anxiety. Types of nursing intervention used to improve quality of life were; therapies in relaxation, exericse, reminiscence, and family support, social support, and hospice care. On the basis of the above findings, the following recommendations were made: 1. Further studies on the quality of life instruments of analysis are needed to provide an understanding of dimensions of life in detail. 2. A Meta-analysis needs to be conducted to identify intervention effects on the quality of life. 3. A tool development study is needed to measure the quality of life appropriately in different illnesses 4. More replicated analysis studies of QL are needed to prove the effect of variables on the QL.