LETTER Q-QUALITY OF LIFE
QUALITY OF LIFE
Quality of Life(QOL) – only 3 words to summarize the way you perceive your health! Defined as the degree to which an individual is healthy, comfortable, and able to participate in or enjoy life events. It is a standard level that consists of the expectations of an individual or society for a good life.
Quality of life is the general well-being of individuals and societies, outlining negative and positive features of life. It observes life satisfaction, including everything from physical health, family, education, employment, wealth, safety, and security to freedom, religious beliefs, and the environment.
The perception of well-being varies individually and so its measurement is done as felt by the patient compared with his /her routine before. For e.g., one patient with severe back pain feels the low quality of life when he has to struggle with transportation while one with permanent handicap may tag it as good if he feels it is his goal to do his own tasks and only that may make him feel good about it.
There are several broad categories of quality-of-life measures. They range from physical to emotional attributes as shown below:
The concept of including how the patient himself or herself feels about the condition is the reason for assessing Quality of Life. Sometimes those involved in treating may misjudge the impact of the condition of the patient. For e.g. a patient with injury from factory working may feel its a part of the job and may seem positive about resuming work after 3-4 months but the healthcare team may opt for aggressive therapy. Its vice versa may also occur. For example, a patient with simple sprain may fear serious effects while treating the team just takes it casually.Thus, finding out what the patient has in mind lays a strong foundation for treatment.
The measurement of Quality of Life is not just asking questions , it is a research based approach keeping many factors in mind.Various scales and questionnaires are prepared based on following points:
This patient-centric approach encourages the patient’s involvement and helps in better recovery and prognosis of the condition. Rehabilitation planned by experts always includes measurement of QOL and methods to improve it , because treatment is for individuals not conditions!