Quality of life

Quality of life: The objectively measurable and subjectively experienced aspects of life. What philosophers traditionally have called a good life would be a life with a good quality.

Source: What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I-III, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford, 2004-11. 

Quality of life:

Quality of life is defined as individual’s perceptions of their position in life in the context of the culture and value system where they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It is a broad ranging concept, incorporating in a complex way a person’s physical health, psychological state, level of independence, social relationships, personal beliefs and relationship to salient features of the environment.

Reference: Quality of Life Assessment. The WHOQOL Group, 1994. What Quality of Life? The WHOQOL Group. In: World Health Forum. WHO, Geneva, 1996.

This definition highlights the views that quality of life refers to a subjective evaluation, which induces both positive and negative dimensions, and which is embedded in a cultural, social and environmental context. WHO identified six broad domains which describe core aspects of quality of life cross-culturally: a physical domain (e.g. energy, fatigue), a psychological domain (e.g. positive feelings), level of independence (e.g. mobility), social relationships (e.g. practical social support), environment (e.g. accessibility of health care) and personal beliefs/spirituality (e.g. meaning in life). The domains of health and quality of life are complementary and overlapping.

Quality of life reflects the perception of individuals that their needs are being satisfied and that they are not being denied opportunities to achieve happiness and fulfilment, regardless of physical health status, or social and economic conditions. The goal of improving the quality of life, alongside preventing avoidable ill-health, has become of increased importance in health promotion. This is particularly important in relation to meeting the needs of older people, the chronically sick, terminally ill, and disabled populations.

Source: Health Promotion Glossary (1998), WHO/HPR/HEP/98.1