Quality of Life Research: A Critical Introduction

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SAGE, Apr 3, 2003 - Social Science - 286 pages
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`Quality of life' is one of the fastest growing areas of research and policy. The concept has an intuitive appeal as a measure of the well-being of individuals, communities and nations. It is increasingly promoted as an aid for political decisions and public funding. But what does the concept really mean? And how can it be operationalized in teaching and research?

This is the first introductory text to offer a critical overview of the concept of quality of life and the ways in which it is researched. Using an inter-disciplinary approach the book covers every aspect of the concept and its application - from the calculation of Quality-Adjusted Life Years to conversation analysis, from the estimation of the quality of life of nation states to ethnographic studies of the life quality of individual disadvantaged people.

The book fills a huge gap in teaching and research. Written with authority, and the need to produce an accessible critical introduction to the field, it will be of interest to students of sociology, psychology, public health and nursing, health economics, politics and medicine.

 

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Contents

A Life of Quality Just What Does QOL Mean?
26
Quality of Life as an Individuallevel Construct
49
Suggestions for Further Reading
62
Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
84
Qualitative Approaches
103
A Synthesis?
115
Researching QOL as Cultural Object
121
QOL in Health and Social Care Research
139
Dying
162
Notes
165
QOL Research with Psychiatric Populations
180
Affective and Cognitive Components of Subjective Wellbeing
193
Adaptation to Life and Subjective Wellbeing
206
Appendices
227
Resources
249
Index
278

Utility Measures
147
DALYs and Their Difficulties
156

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About the author (2003)

Mark Rapley is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology. A graduate of the then NELP MSc in Clinical Psychology, he worked as a clinical psychologist in NHS learning disability services, and, until recently, as an academic and consultant to intellectual disability services in Western Australia.

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