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Quality of life is a concept that alludes to various levels of generalization through society, community, even the physical and mental aspect; therefore, the meaning of quality of life is complex, as it has definitions ranging from psychology and sociology to political science, medicine, development studies, etc. The living conditions of individuals and societies as a whole vary over time, since for example social policies, within a welfare state, can improve the living conditions of the population: employment plans, unemployment insurance, community canteens, housing scheme, etc.
There are many types of living conditions:Economic conditionsSocial conditionsPolitical conditionsHealth conditionsNatural conditions
Quality of life is evaluated by analyzing five different areas: physical well-being (with concepts such as health, physical safety), material well-being (alluding to income, belongings, housing, transportation, etc.), social well-being (personal relationships, friendships, family, community), development (productivity, contribution, education) and emotional well-being (self-esteem, mentality, emotional intelligence, religion, spirituality).
An indicator commonly used to measure quality of life is the Human Development Index (HDI), established by the United Nations to measure the degree of development of countries through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), whose calculation is made from the following variables:Life expectancy.Education, (at all levels).GDP per capita.
The countries with the highest HDI are Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Canada and Japan.
Industrial production and economic growth were, in the past, the only elements considered in the level of development of a country. Although this perspective left out other aspects not so directly material, which the HDI does consider. Although the HDI is considered more suitable for measuring development, this indicator does not incorporate some aspects considered important for the measurement of development, such as access to housing, good food and culture and the arts; among others. Health
The World Health Organization in its Quality of Life study group has defined it as “the perception of an individual of his life situation, since in his context of his culture and value systems, in relation to his objectives, expectations, standards and concerns”. It is a broad concept that has been operationalized in areas or domains: physical health, psychological state, level of independence, social relationships, personal beliefs and their relationship with the most outstanding characteristics of the environment. It is in this sense that the operationalization of the quality of life concept has led to such a formulation and construction of instruments or surveys that value the satisfaction of people, from a general perspective. However, the particularities of the different pathological processes and the pressure to objectify their specific impact, has motivated the creation of specific instruments related to each disease and its particular impact on people’s lives. In this way, we can distinguish general instruments of quality of life and others related to specific aspects of the different pathological pictures (quality of life instruments related to the disease) the basic factors are the family, education, work, infrastructure, and health of each person. Measure of quality of lifeMeasures of Functional Disability and Impairment:Katz IndexFunctional Independence MeasurePlutchik Geriatric Assessment ScaleDuke Activity IndexInterview on the deterioration of daily activities in patients with dementia.Physical and Mental MeasuresC.A.T. Health, System for Assessing Health-Related Quality of Life: Once the C.A.T. has been completed by a subject or patient, the system can provide different types of information:Evaluation of the perceived state of health, which will be presented through a report that interprets the result in relation to the general population.If there is a prior evaluation of the same subject, an evaluation of the clinical relevance of the change will also be presented.SF-40 Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire.Psychological Well-Being and Mental Health Measures:General Health Questionnaire.Psychological Well-Being IndexHospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.Sheehan Disability QuestionnaireInventory of Grief Experiences.Texas Revised Grieving Inventory.Patient Health Questionnaire.Quality of Life Scale for Depression.Seville Quality of Life Questionnaire.Social Health Measures:Duke-UNK Functional Social Support Questionnaire.Psychosocial Adjustment IndexApgar-Familiar Family Function Questionnaire.Manheim Social Support Interview.Pain measures:Pain questionnaire.Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Scale.Pain-Hip Function Scale.Cervical Pain Questionnaire.Generic Measures of Health-Related Quality of Life