Quality Of Life


Article Author:
Dac Teoli


Article Editor:
Abhishek Bhardwaj


Editors In Chief:
Alexandra Caley
Sameh Boktor


Managing Editors:
Avais Raja
Orawan Chaigasame
Carrie Smith
Abdul Waheed
Khalid Alsayouri
Kyle Blair
Trevor Nezwek
Radia Jamil
Erin Hughes
Patrick Le
Anoosh Zafar Gondal
Saad Nazir
William Gossman
Hassam Zulfiqar
Navid Mahabadi
Hussain Sajjad
Steve Bhimji
Muhammad Hashmi
John Shell
Matthew Varacallo
Heba Mahdy
Ahmad Malik
Abbey Smiley
Sarosh Vaqar
Mark Pellegrini
James Hughes
Beata Beatty
Daniyal Ameen
Altif Muneeb
Beenish Sohail
Nazia Sadiq
Hajira Basit
Phillip Hynes
Komal Shaheen
Sandeep Sekhon


Updated:
12/28/2018 6:20:26 PM

Definition/Introduction

Quality of life (QoL) is a concept which aims to capture the well-being, whether of a population or individual, regarding both positive and negative elements within the entirety of their existence at a specific point in time. For example, common facets of QoL include personal health (physical, mental, and spiritual), relationships, education status, work environment, social status, wealth, a sense of security and safety, freedom, autonomy in decision-making, social-belonging and their physical surroundings.

The World Health Organization provides an explanation of QoL as a subjective evaluation of one's perception of their reality relative to their goals as observed through the lens of their culture and value system. The Quality of Life Research Unit at the University of Toronto defines QoL as how much a person can enjoy the valued possibilities of his or her life. It is essential to recognize the difference between QoL and other somewhat similar concepts which might get easily confused in the literature, such as the standard of living and health-related quality of life. QoL differs from the former in that standard of living is largely based on economic status and income.

QoL differs from the public health measure health-related quality of life, in that the latter is a measure which explores the connection between health and QoL. As there has been recognized difficulty with arriving at a universally accepted definition and measurement, recent studies have attempted to re-frame QoL into separate domains. One example of this re-framing is the "engaged theory," which takes QoL and divides it into four main domains: economics, culture, politics, and ecology.[1][2][3][4]

Issues of Concern

As alluded to in the previous section, the primary concern with the concept of QoL is a lack of a uniform definition. Compared to measures which are financial or can be otherwise measured quantitatively, such as gross domestic product, QoL remains elusive in an exact means of measurement across world cultures, regions, and demographics. There remains a push by many academic circles to break QoL into smaller components for more accurate and meaningful evaluation. One example is dividing the concept into domains (engaged theory), while other approach divides QoL into the ideas of personal well-being and life evaluation. This divide remains a widely debated topic in the literature.[5][2][6]

Clinical Significance

The concept of quality of life remains relevant to all clinical settings. It is of paramount importance in some fields of medicine, such as hospice and palliative care, where the aggressive pursuit of a cure is set aside with aims of instead satisfying patient goals and maximizing the patient's quality of life. It is important to clarify that studies show there is variability across individuals regarding how disease processes, symptoms, prognosis, and palliative treatments impact the quality of life. It is therefore worth emphasizing that assessing QoL through a limited definition or applying a particular model to all patients, would be an error as the literature stands. While there is no shortage of textbook definitions, perhaps the most accurate meaning of QoL is the definition the patient provides when sitting across from their clinician.[7][8][9][10]


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Quality Of Life - Questions

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Which of the following is correct about quality of life for long-term cancer survivors?



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An OT is working with a child with a terminal diagnosis. What should be the main focus for therapy?



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To assess the health-related quality of life, what tool will you utilize?



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A resident states he wishes to begin a project to examine physician-in-training "quality of life." When asked to explain further, he elaborates that he intends to perform "a case-control study of individuals in his residency program and his friends in masters of business administration programs across the country." The resident further explains that this study will "help examine if resident income is appropriate for living expenses when adjusted for the number of hours worked." When asked for feedback, the physician-scientist gently points out a number of flaws with the proposed study. Which of the following changes in design would assist in correcting one of these flaws?



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A clinical researcher sets out to learn more about psychosocial measures which function to capture well-being in populations. He finds out that quality of life remains an elusive concept to define on a universal basis. He subsequently learns that to address this problem, a specific theory was formulated in order to re-frame quality of life into more specific domains. What are the domains which come together in the composition of this referent theory?



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Quality Of Life - References

References

Oechsle K, Palliative Care in Patients with Hematological Malignancies. Oncology research and treatment. 2018 Dec 12     [PubMed]
McDonald T,Shaw D, Benchmarking life quality support interventions in long-term care using the Long-Term Care Quality of Life scale. Nursing     [PubMed]
Kasvis P,Vigano M,Vigano A, Health-related quality of life across cancer cachexia stages. Annals of palliative medicine. 2018 Sep 5     [PubMed]
Folker AP,Hegelund ER,Mortensen EL,Wimmelmann CL,Flensborg-Madsen T, The association between life satisfaction, vitality, self-rated health, and risk of cancer. Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation. 2018 Dec 10     [PubMed]
Singh S,Kumar S,Sarkar S,Balhara YPS, Quality of Life and its Relationship with Perceived Stigma among Opioid Use Disorder Patients: An Exploratory Study. Indian journal of psychological medicine. 2018 Nov-Dec     [PubMed]
Boggatz T, Quality of life in old age - a concept analysis. International journal of older people nursing. 2016 Mar     [PubMed]
Munce SEP,Perrier L,Shin S,Adhihetty C,Pitzul K,Nelson MLA,Bayley MT, Strategies to improve the quality of life of persons post-stroke: protocol of a systematic review. Systematic reviews. 2017 Sep 7     [PubMed]
MacIver J,Wentlandt K,Ross HJ, Measuring quality of life in advanced heart failure. Current opinion in supportive and palliative care. 2017 Mar     [PubMed]
Rapoport A,Weingarten K, Improving quality of life in hospitalized children. Pediatric clinics of North America. 2014 Aug     [PubMed]
Barofsky I, Can quality or quality-of-life be defined? Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation. 2012 May     [PubMed]

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