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fields other than medicine are very familiar with the value of QoL as an
assessment tool and intervention potential in practice. This chapter con-
tends that QoL research findings that have emerged from evidence-based,
positive psychology could better apprise mental health workers, social
workers, counselors, and other human services professionals of its value to
their work. Other helping disciplines might improve client care by apply-
ing principles of QoL along with their regular assessment and treatment
methods. A number of client problems that are complex and hard to mea-
sure could possibly be treated more effectively and with greater insight
into individual client's felt needs.
DEFINITION AND BACKGROUND OF QUALITY OF LIFE
Quality of life has emerged as a multidimensional concept, and there have
been increased efforts to better understand it. An important purpose of
QoL is how it helps describe connections between various dimensions of
a person's life from their own point of view. Individual QoL has been
broadly defined by some writers as the degree of excellence in life relative
to a particular expressed or implied standard of comparison that most
people in a particular society would agree upon ( Veenhoven, 1984 ).
Another way of explaining QoL is its potential to provide people with
improved opportunities to have a decent level of living. This requires
including the individual perceptions of people in order to help mediate
the negative effects of difficult challenges to their lives. QoL is not only
defined as the quantity or degree of a desired aspect of life but also as a
measure that includes both satisfaction and happiness in an individual's
life. For example, it has been found that longevity of life may be very
desirable for one person but may not be perceived by another person as
being fulfilling or even important. Some descriptions of QoL have
included excellence of personal growth and mastery, economic stability,
psychological well-being, and meaningful work, as being more important
to some people than mere subsistence or longevity ( Seed & Lloyd, 1997 ).
Other debates regarding what should be considered as a “working”
definition of quality of life have expanded greatly and can be perceived
from a variety of perspectives. One perspective that has evolved is
described as Integrative Quality of Life Theory (IQOL). The idea of
IQOL is that quality of life can be viewed as an integrative value system
by which an individual can perceive their goals, hopes, standards, needs,
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