Perceptions of Links Between Quality of Life Areas: Implications for Measurement and Practice

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Abstract

Quality of life (QoL) measures frequently conceptualise QoL as having distinct life domains. However, research suggests that there may be overlap. In this study, perceptions of links between life areas are explored. At time one, 143 participants in Khon Kaen, Thailand completed the “Global Person Generated Index” (GPGI), nominating up to five areas important to QoL. Participants then described why they perceived areas as important. Frequencies of links mentioned between areas were recorded. At time two, 42 participants completed the GPGI and were then asked to visually represent the areas of life with circles, overlapping, containing other circles or unconnected to show the interrelationships. Descriptions of the life areas often spontaneously included links with other life areas. “Money” was the most commonly linked area, followed by “job or work” and family. Diagrams representing the relationships between life areas showed diversity. All participants linked at least one area. About 26% presented at least one area as independent. Participants in this sample generally viewed their QoL as composed of some inter-related areas. This has implications for QoL measurement, suggesting data to capture inter-relating domains should be collected. The use of a mixed methods approach to understanding QoL is recommended. Implications for practice are also highlighted, as interventions aimed at one area of QoL will likely impact on others, in ways we currently do not measure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-107
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume106
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

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