ASSESSING QUALITY OF LIFE: CURRENT APPROACHES
Ivana Ilić1, Ivona Milić2 and Mirjana Aranđelović3,1
The authors of this paper consider the concept of the quality of life and healthrelated quality of life (QOL) by paying special attention to the relevance of the researches taken so far, related to the “quality of life”, the impact and ways of estimating the QOLthrough social, cultural or health interventions, taking into account both social and economic aspects. The detailed objectives of the research were: to present the “broader picture” of QOL and the definitions already established by previous researches; to identify social and economic indicators that can be used to measure the QOL. Specific aims of the literature review were to summarize variousdefinitions of the concepts of QOL in general and explore the difficulties encountered in measuring the QOL, to cite the standard methods and results, and criticize methodologies. As far as possible, in this literature review, the authors attempted to maintain consistency in terms’ use. However, based on the results obtained, it is inevitable to avoid the confusion when using the term QOL. A key partof this is the inter-changeable use of different concepts discussed below. The overall conclusions point to possible options for future researches in this field. Acta Medica Medianae 2010;49(4):52-60. Key words: quality of life, subjective/objective QOL measures, possible approaches
Institute for workers’ health protection Niš, Serbia Raiffeisen bank a.d, Beograd, Serbia2 Faculty of Medicine Niš,University of Niš, Serbia 3 Contakt: Ivana Ilić Zavod za zdrvstvenu zaštitu radnika Niš Vojislava Ilića bb, 18000 Niš E-mail: email@example.com
Introduction Quality of life (QOL) is more and more considered to be the ideal od modern medicine in terms of biopsichosocial viewpoint, because it allows ethical advancement within clinical evaluation methods. We are the witnesses of an epochin which human life has become considerably extended, so that the imperative of a modern man is to “add life to years”(1). There is no doubt that the introduction of QOL as the distinctive entity humanized medical knowledge, as it in its essential approach respects patient as a complete person and does not allow the separation of the patient's body from his personality. A good deal of literatureand several dozens of scientific journals have reported a large body of information about researches on the QOL in the field of medicine. In terms of the volume of articles, discussion on QOL within the academic literature centers on the health care field, including nursing, medicine and health promotion considers the effect of medical interventions on the QOL, or subjective well-being ofindividuals or 52
groups of individuals with shared characteristics, learning disabilities and other types of disability and including mental health (5). In contrast to health care research generally, occupational medical research has been fairly late in coming to consider the quality of life as a focus of investigation, either by using generic measures or specific questionnaire batteries (6-10). Thismay be attributable, at least in part, to a more concrete world view, wherein the outcomes of principal concern to the occupational researcher have often been workrelated disabling or fatal injury or disease, manifested by frank job loss or lost work time. There may also be an element of class-based assumptions coming into play; that is to say, a presumption that for the industrial or agriculturalworker, “quality of life” is a vague luxury, not comparable to the bread-and-butter priority of traditional safety and health concerns (10-12). Development of Quality of Life concepts Discussion on QOL dates back to Plato and Aristotle. Although neither the philosophical origins nor historiography of the term can be dealt with here, discussion of these themes may be found in the literature (13)....