It is impossible to list all the rich array of attributes related to the concept of "Quality of Life", but literature has mentioned the following:
Demands and responsibilities
QOL Domain: existential
QOL Domain: physical
QOL Domain: psycological
The best way of approaching quality of life measurement is to measure the extent to which people's 'happiness requirements' are met - ie those requirements which are a necessary (although not sufficient) condition of anyone's happiness - those 'without which no member of the human race can be happy.'
- McCall, S.: 1975, 'Quality of Life', Social Indicators Research 2, pp 229-248
WHAT IS QOL? QOL may be defined as subjective well-being. Recognising the subjectivity of QOL is a key to understanding this construct. QOL reflects the difference, the gap, between the hopes and expectations of a person and their present experience. Human adaptation is such that life expectations are usually adjusted so as to lie within the realm of what the individual perceives to be possible. This enables people who have difficult life circumstances to maintain a reasonable QOL.
- Janssen Quality-of-life Studies
Quality of Life is tied to perception of 'meaning'. The quest for meaning is central to the human condition, and we are brought in touch with a sense of meaning when we reflect on that which we have created, loved,
believed in or left as a legacy.
- Frankl VE. 'Man's search for meaning.' New York: Pocket Books, 1963.
Our definition of quality of life is: The degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his/her life. Possibilities result from the opportunities and limitations each person has in his/her life and reflect the interaction of personal and environmental factors. Enjoyment has two components: the experience of satisfaction and the possession or achievement of some characteristic, as illustrated by the expression: "She enjoys good health." Three major life domains are identified: Being, Belonging, and Becoming. The conceptualization of Being, Belonging, and Becoming as the domains of quality of life were developed from the insights of various writers.
The Being domain includes the basic aspects of
"who one is" and has three sub-domains. Physical
Being includes aspects of physical health,
personal hygiene, nutrition, exercise, grooming,
clothing, and physical appearance. Psychological
Being includes the person's psychological health
and adjustment, cognitions, feelings, and
evaluations concerning the self, and self-control.
Spiritual Being reflects personal values, personal
standards of conduct, and spiritual beliefs which
may or may not be associated with organized
Belonging includes the person's fit with his/her
environments and also has three sub-domains.
Physical Belonging is defined as the connections
the person has with his/her physical environments
such as home, workplace, neighbourhood, school
and community. Social Belonging includes links
with social environments and includes the sense of
acceptance by intimate others, family, friends,
co-workers, and neighbourhood and community.
Community Belonging represents access to
resources normally available to community
members, such as adequate income, health and
social services, employment, educational and
recreational programs, and community activities.
Becoming refers to the purposeful activities
carried out to achieve personal goals, hopes, and
wishes. Practical Becoming describes day-to-day
actions such as domestic activities, paid work,
school or volunteer activities, and seeing to health
or social needs. Leisure Becoming includes
activities that promote relaxation and stress
reduction. These include card games,
neighbourhood walks, and family visits, or longer
duration activities such as vacations or holidays.
Growth Becoming activities promote the
improvement or maintenance of knowledge and
- Quality of Life Research Unit, University of Toronto
- Being physically
able to get around.
- My nutrition and
the food I eat.
- Being free of
worry and stress.
- The mood I am
- Having hope for
- My own ideas of
right and wrong.
- The house or
apartment I live in.
- The neighbourhood
I live in.
- Being close to
people in my family.
- Having a spouse or
- Being able to get
professional services (medical, social, etc.)
- Having enough
- Doing things around my
- Working at a job or going
- Outdoor activities (walks,
- Indoor activities (TV,
- Improving my physical
health and fitness.
- Being able to cope with
changes in my life.
- Quality of Life Research Unit, University of Toronto
In quality of life research one often distinguishes between the subjective and objective quality of life. Subjective quality of life is about feeling good and being satisfied
with things in general. Objective quality of life is about fulfilling the societal and cultural demands for material wealth, social status and physical well-being.
- Quality-of-Life Research Center, Denmark
The approach to the measurement of the quality of life derives from the position that there are a number of domains of living. Each domain contributes to one's overall assessment of the quality of life. The domains include family and friends, work, neighborhood (shelter), community,
health, education, and spiritual.
- The University of Oklahoma School of Social Work
The City of Vancouver measures QOL using the following indicators: Community Affordability Measure, Quality of Employment Measure, Quality of Housing Measure, Health Community Measure, Community Social Infrastructure, Human Capital Measure, Community Stress Measure, Community Safety Measure, Community Participation Measure.
- Website of the City of Vancouver
UNDP has been publishing the annual Human Development Index (HDI) for countries around the worlkd. It examines the health, education and wealth of each nation's citizens by measuring:
- life expectancy
- educational achievement -- adult literacy plus combined primary, secondary and tertiary enrolment; and
- standard of living -- real GDP per capita based on PPP exchange rates.
- Human Development Report, UNDP, 1997
There are essentially two perspectives taken in quality of life research: social indicators research which considers the elites' valuation of what the people need, and conventional quality of life research which studies what people want, in order to improve their quality of life.
- Quality of Life, Ramkrishna Mukherjee, Sage Publications, 1989.
he purpose of the Quality of Life Index (QOLI) is to provide a tool for community development which can be used to monitor key indicators that encompass the social, health, environmental and economic dimensions of the quality of life in the community. The QLI can be used to comment frequently on key issues that affect people and contribute to the public debate about how to improve the quality of life in the community. It is intended to monitor conditions which affect the living and working conditions of people and focus
community action on ways to improve health. Indicators for the QOLI include:
Quality of Life is the product of the interplay among social, health, economic and environmental conditions which affect human and social development.
- SOCIAL: Children in care of Children´s Aid Societies; social
assistance beneficiaries; public housing waiting lists etc.
- HEALTH: Low birth weight babies; elderly waiting for placement
in long term care facilities; suicide rates etc.
- ECONOMIC: Number of people unemployed; number of people working;
- ENVIRONMENTAL: Hours of moderate/poor air quality; environmental spills; tonnes diverted from landfill to blue boxes etc.
Ontario Social Development Council, 1997
How does QOL compare with 'Standards of Living'? Standards of Living is a measure of the quantity and quality of goods and services available to people. It meaures such aspects as GDP Per Capita, life expectency, Births/1000, Infant Mortality/1000, Doctors/1000, Cars/1000, TV/1000, Telephones/1000, Literacy levels, %GDP spent on Education, %GDP spent on Health, Cinema attendence, Newspaper circulation, Fertility Rate, Density, Population per dwelling, etc. Quality of Life is the product of the interplay among social, health, economic and environmental conditions which affect human and social development.
- Various sources