Concept Analysis: Quality of LIfe

Topics: Health, Health care, Public health Pages: 10 (3407 words) Published: October 19, 2013


Nursing 701: Theoretical Perspectives of the Discipline
Quality of Life: A Concept Analysis
Kayla L. Chesley
North Dakota State University
Instructor: Norma Kiser-Larson

Introduction
What does quality of life mean? How would a person define the concept of quality of life? Philosophers have studied questions similar to these in the aspect of what constitutes a “good” life for hundreds of years. There really is no certain date to the origin of quality of life as a specific term. In the years 1953 to 1954, two economists have been linked as the ones who used the concept in expressing their concern over ecological dangers of unlimited economic growth (Snoek, 2000). Other economists in the 1950s researched the ideas of what counts in life is not the quantity of goods but the quality of one’s life. Social scientists began to use the term quality of life in the 1970s. Also in the 1970s, there has been growing interest in quality of life issues in relation to nursing, medicine, and health care (Sarvimaki & Stenbock-Hult, 2000). Philosophers used the concept quality of life in the 1980s to formulate moral judgment, particularly with infanticide and euthanasia in relation to severely handicapped infants and life sustaining treatment (Pennacchini, Bertolaso, Elvira & DeMarinis, 2011). Researcher’s interest in theoretical issues and quality of life has fallen, but quality of life continues to be used in health care and clinical practice (Pennacchini et al, 2011). There are thousands of people living today with disease and health disparity. For some individuals, the goal of health may not be freedom of disease or health disparity, but a high quality of life. Through concept analysis using the Walker and Avant Model, the concept of quality of life will be examined with an emphasis on health. Many aspects will be explored to the concept, including uses, attributes, case examples, antecedents and empirical referents. Concept

The concept of quality of life and what it means is highly ambiguous. Barofsky (2012) explains that any broad concept, such as quality of life, will continually change as it is further studied and more is learned on the concept. In a broad aspect, quality of life can be defined as the dimensions of human experience, ranging from those associated with the necessities of life, such as food, shelter, and achieving a sense of fulfillment and personal happiness (Snoek, 2000). Related to health, quality of life can be defined as a concept encompassing physical and psychological characteristics and limitations, describing an individual’s ability to function and get satisfaction from the ability to function (Snoek, 2000). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) defines quality of life as a broad multidimensional concept that includes subjective evaluations of positive and negative aspects to life. Healthy People 2020 (2013) defines health related quality of life as a multidimensional concept including a person’s well being of physical, mental, emotional and social functioning and explains this concept goes beyond life expectancy, causes of death, and direct measures of population health. Purpose

Analyzing the concept of health related quality of life helps one understand the concept with deeper meaning and clarity. A question to be asked is, “how do health practitioners improve the quality of life in patients?” The purpose of quality of life analysis is to improve awareness on the concept and to promote the use in medical and nursing practice. With the growing needs to enhance health related quality of life, national goals have been initiated. Healthy People 2020 (2013) identified quality of life improvement as an important public health goal, paving way to further analysis of the concept. Uses of the Concept

The concept of quality of life can be used in many different aspects and disciplines. In general, quality of life can be used with philosophy, politics,...

References: Armstrong, D., & Caldwell, D. (2004). Origins of the concept of quality of life in health
care: A rhetorical solution to a political problem
21(4), 625-631. doi:10.1007/s11136-011-9961-0
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Population Health (2011)
(2013). Health-related quality of life and well-being. Retrieved from:
http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/QoLWBabout.aspx
Health Measurement Research Group, The University of Wisconsin (2008). Health related
quality of life measures
National Marrow Donor Program (2009). Forms manual: Appendix L- Karnofsky/Lansky
performance status
Pennacchini, M., Bertolaso, M., Elvira, M. M., & De Marinis, ,M.G. (2011). A brief history of
the quality of life: Its use in medicine and in philosophy
Sarvimäki, A., & Stenbock-Hult, B. (2000). Quality of life in old age described as a sense
of well-being, meaning and value
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