Individual Quality of Life: Approaches to Conceptualisation and Assessment

Front Cover
Charles Richard Boddington Joyce, Hannah M. McGee, Ciaran A. O'Boyle
Taylor & Francis, 1999 - Psychology - 234 pages
The rubric "Quality of Life" first came to the explicit attention of the medical profession a little over thirty years ago. Despite the undoubted fact that each one of us has his or her own Quality of Life, be it good or bad, there is still no general agreement about its definition, or the manner in which it should be evaluated. Although much has been written about quality of life, this work has been largely concerned with population-based studies, especially in health policy & health economics. The importance of individual quality of life has been neglected, in part because of a failure to define quality of life itself with sufficient care, in part perhaps because of a belief that it is impossible to develop a meaningful method of measuring individual variables. It is a fundamental belief of the editors of this book that the primary focus of quality of life is & must continue to be the individual, who alone can define it & assess its changing personal significances. The individual perspective is of vital importance not only to patients but to their doctors too, & is more & more frequently proposed as the most meaningful measure of outcome in clinical research, especially in non-remitting or chronic conditions. Workers who wish to consider wider aspects of influences on the illnesses suffered by individuals & the health care that they receive will find much to stimulate them in the methods of documentation proposed in this book. Those mainly concerned with population samples rather than individuals may also find the sensitive methods of investigation proposed here not only to be applicable to their own areas of interest, but also rewarding in perhaps unexpected ways.
 

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Contents

The Individual Perspective
3
A Reformulation of Quality of Life for Medical Science
41
Methodological Issues in Individual Quality of Life
51
SPECIFIC APPROACHES TO INDIVIDUAL
73
Individualising Questionnaires
87
The Patient Generated Index
105
Methods for Assessing Relative Importance
135
Selected Methods for Assessing Individual Quality of Life
151
Individual Quality of Life and Population Studies
175
Individual Quality of Life and Assessment by Carers
185
Individual Quality of Life in Palliative Care
197
Review and Outlook
215
A Story of Virtue Lost
225
Index
233
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