Origins and Definitions of Quality of Life
According to Edwards (n.d) the concept of Quality of Life (QOL) originally became popular in the 1960s. Its original applications were restricted to income, nutrition, and shelter. Many people commonly referred to it was “satisfaction with life” or asking if your life was “as good as someone else's life.” Research has worked to narrow QOL down to a more specific definition and to a definition that specifically deals with Healthcare Related Quality of Life (HRQOL). According to Armstrong and Caldwell (2004) HRQOL started to acquire a definition in the 1970s, but really was narrowed down in the last two decades to become the definition that is used by healthcare professionals today. What sprouted the debate of what quality of life was and how to improve it was the advances in medical care, including chemotherapy and furthering the survival of disabled children. These people were alive, but their individual QOL was low (Armstrong and Caldwell 2004). This discussion in the 1970s lead to the specialized HRQOL definition the Center of Disease Control has developed today.
QOL is a broad term, but researchers have worked to provide the Public Health Community with a working definition of it that all hospitals and related administrators and staff can use. Starting with the definition of health may be a better place, before we move into QOL within healthcare. Center of Disease Control (2011, March 17) states “Health is seen by the public health community as a multidimensional construct that includes physical, mental, and social domains.” Healthcare has started to shift away from just saving lives, but also improving the quality of them.
HRQOL includes the physical and mental aspects of health, which includes depression, physical diseases, and social support and socioeconomic status. All these things are included because they are either part of your state of health or they determine whether you have the proper resources to receive all the care that you require. HRQOL can also be discussed on a wider scale, instead of just an individual level. In that case it would include policies, practices, conditions, public health policies, and the health partners that are available in this community. The two definitions of HRQOL have become vital tools for health surveillance and indicators of service needs in a community. (Center of Disease Control, 2011, March 17) These two definitions will be used extensively in the analysis of Gotham City's growing problem.
There is a method to measure QOL, considering research cannot be trusted unless it has a reliable measuring system. There was a set standard developed during the 1990s by the Division of Adult and Community Health in collaboration with other organizations, such as Disability Prevention Program, Women's Health Program, National Center for Health Statistics Questionnaire Development Research Lab, and Epidemiology Program Office. It is a “compact set of measures”...