Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
A Quality of Life Approach to
Understanding and Measuring
Workplace Problems
A major aim of this chapter is to describe how quality of life (QoL) mea-
sures can be responsive to displaced workers' perceptions of their feelings
and attitudes during the recent economic downturn. There is a recently
renewed interest in QoL issues in both the academic and popular litera-
ture. The World Health Organization Quality of Life Group ( WHOQOL
Group, 1995 ) defines quality of life in terms of “an individual's perception
of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in
which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and
concerns.” The field of medicine has demonstrated that the problems of
illness cannot be fully described merely by measures of disease and body
systems. Psychosocial factors that include restricted mobility and other
functional impairments, difficulty fulfilling personal and family responsi-
bilities, financial burdens, and reduced cognition must also be considered.
Beyond the direct tangible impact of illness, the medical field has
examined some of the negative effects that illnesses and treatments have
on life satisfaction and subjective well-being. Although QoL assessments
were almost unknown 15 years ago, they have become an integral mea-
sure of assessment and outcome in medical research. It has been reported
that over a thousand articles on QoL are added to the literature each year
( Muldoon, Barger, and Flory, 1998 ). For example, Eriksson et al. (2010)
reported that lifestyle assessments and interventions delivered along with
primary care that included increased physical activity and improved diet
can help reduce both specific diseases and generic risk factors in order to
help improve overall QoL.
It would seem reasonable, given the importance of including QoL
methods in medical treatment, that other disciplines would consider its
potential value for advancing care in mental health, life satisfaction, and
personal happiness as well. It appears that few helping professionals in
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