Quality of life (QOL) is an overarching term for the quality of the various domains in life. It is a standard level that consists of the expectations of an individual or society for a good life. These expectations are guided by the values, goals and socio-cultural context in which an individual lives. It is a subjective, multidimensional concept that defines a standard level for emotional, physical, material and social well-being. It serves as a reference against which an individual or society can measure the different domains of one’s own life. The extent to which one's own life coincides with this desired standard level, put differently, the degree to which these domains give satisfaction and as such contribute to one's subjective well-being, is called life satisfaction.
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, security to freedom, religious beliefs, and the environment. QOL has a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, politics and employment. It is important not to mix up the concept of QOL with a more recent growing area of health related QOL (HRQOL). An assessment of HRQOL is effectively an evaluation of QOL and its relationship with health.
Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income.
Standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), quality of life is defined as “the 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.” In comparison to WHO's definitions, the Wong-Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale defines quality of life as “life quality (in this case, physical pain) at a precise moment in time.”
According to ecological economist Robert Costanza:
While Quality of Life (QOL) has long been an explicit or implicit policy goal, adequate definition and measurement have been elusive. Diverse "objective" and "subjective" indicators across a range of disciplines and scales, and recent work on subjective well-being (SWB) surveys and the psychology of happiness have spurred renewed interest.
One approach, called engaged theory, outlined in the journal of Applied Research in the Quality of Life, posits four domains in assessing quality of life: ecology, economics, politics and culture. In the domain of culture, for example, it includes the following subdomains of quality of life:
Also frequently related are concepts such as freedom, human rights, and happiness. However, since happiness is subjective and difficult to measure, other measures are generally given priority. It has also been shown that happiness, as much as it can be measured, does not necessarily increase correspondingly with the comfort that results from increasing income. As a result, standard of living should not be taken to be a measure of happiness. Also sometimes considered related is the concept of human security, though the latter may be considered at a more basic level and for all people.
Unlike per capita GDP or standard of living, both of which can be measured in financial terms, it is harder to make objective or long-term measurements of the quality of life experienced by nations or other groups of people. Researchers have begun in recent times to distinguish two aspects of personal well-being: Emotional well-being, in which respondents are asked about the quality of their everyday emotional experiences—the frequency and intensity of their experiences of, for example, joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection— and life evaluation, in which respondents are asked to think about their life in general and evaluate it against a scale. Such and other systems and scales of measurement have been in use for some time. Research has attempted to examine the relationship between quality of life and productivity. There are many different methods of measuring quality of life in terms of health care, wealth and materialistic goods. However, it is much more difficult to measure meaningful expression of one's desires. One way to do so is to evaluate the scope of how individuals have fulfilled their own ideals. Quality of life can simply mean happiness, the subjective state of mind. By using that mentality, citizens of a developing country appreciate more since they are content with the basic necessities of health care, education and child protection.
Perhaps the most commonly used international measure of development is the Human Development Index (HDI), which combines measures of life expectancy, education, and standard of living, in an attempt to quantify the options available to individuals within a given society. The HDI is used by the United Nations Development Programme in their Human Development Report.
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey on the state of global happiness. It ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, reflecting growing global interest in using happiness and substantial well-being as an indicator of the quality of human development. Its growing purpose has allowed governments, communities and organizations to use appropriate data to record happiness in order to enable policies to provide better lives. The reports review the state of happiness in the world today and show how the science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness. Also developed by the United Nations and published recently along with the HDI, this report combines both objective and subjective measures to rank countries by happiness, which is deemed as the ultimate outcome of a high quality of life. It uses surveys from Gallup, real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity to derive the final score. Happiness is already recognised as an important concept in global public policy. The World Happiness Report indicates that some regions have in recent years been experiencing progressive inequality of happiness. Without life, there is no happiness to be realised.
The Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI) is a measure developed by sociologist Morris David Morris in the 1970s, based on basic literacy, infant mortality, and life expectancy. Although not as complex as other measures, and now essentially replaced by the Human Development Index, the PQLI is notable for Morris's attempt to show a "less fatalistic pessimistic picture" by focusing on three areas where global quality of life was generally improving at the time and ignoring gross national product and other possible indicators that were not improving.
The Happy Planet Index, introduced in 2006, is unique among quality of life measures in that, in addition to standard determinants of well-being, it uses each country's ecological footprint as an indicator. As a result, European and North American nations do not dominate this measure. The 2012 list is instead topped by Costa Rica, Vietnam and Colombia.
Gallup researchers trying to find the world's happiest countries found Denmark to be at the top of the list. uSwitch publishes an annual quality of life index for European countries. France has topped the list for the last three years.
A 2010 study by two Princeton University professors looked at 1,000 randomly selected U.S. residents over an extended period. It concludes that their life evaluations – that is, their considered evaluations of their life against a stated scale of one to ten – rise steadily with income. On the other hand, their reported quality of emotional daily experiences (their reported experiences of joy, affection, stress, sadness, or anger) levels off after a certain income level (approximately $75,000 per year); income above $75,000 does not lead to more experiences of happiness nor to further relief of unhappiness or stress. Below this income level, respondents reported decreasing happiness and increasing sadness and stress, implying the pain of life's misfortunes, including disease, divorce, and being alone, is exacerbated by poverty.
Gross national happiness and other subjective measures of happiness are being used by the governments of Bhutan and the United Kingdom. The World Happiness report, issued by Columbia University is a meta-analysis of happiness globally and provides an overview of countries and grassroots activists using GNH. The OECD issued a guide for the use of subjective well-being metrics in 2013. In the U.S., cities and communities are using a GNH metric at a grassroots level.
The Social Progress Index measures the extent to which countries provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens. Fifty-two indicators in the areas of basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity show the relative performance of nations. The index uses outcome measures when there is sufficient data available or the closest possible proxies.
Day-Reconstruction Method was another way of measuring happiness, in which researchers asked their subjects to recall various things they did on the previous day and describe their mood during each activity. Being simple and approachable, this method required memory and the experiments have confirmed that the answers that people give are similar to those who repeatedly recalled each subject. The method eventually declined as it called for more effort and thoughtful responses, which often included interpretations and outcomes that do not occur to people who are asked to record every action in their daily lives.
The term quality of life is also used by politicians and economists to measure the livability of a given city or nation. Two widely known measures of livability are the Economist Intelligence Unit's Where-to-be-born Index and Mercer's Quality of Living Reports. These two measures calculate the livability of countries and cities around the world, respectively, through a combination of subjective life-satisfaction surveys and objective determinants of quality of life such as divorce rates, safety, and infrastructure. Such measures relate more broadly to the population of a city, state, or country, not to individual quality of life. Livability has a long history and tradition in urban design, and neighborhoods design standards such as LEED-ND are often used in an attempt to influence livability.
Some crimes against property (e.g., graffiti and vandalism) and some "victimless crimes" have been referred to as "quality-of-life crimes." American sociologist James Q. Wilson encapsulated this argument as the broken windows theory, which asserts that relatively minor problems left unattended (such as litter, graffiti, or public urination by homeless individuals) send a subliminal message that disorder in general is being tolerated, and as a result, more serious crimes will end up being committed (the analogy being that a broken window left broken shows an image of general dilapidation).
Wilson's theories have been used to justify the implementation of zero tolerance policies by many prominent American mayors, most notably Oscar Goodman in Las Vegas, Richard Riordan in Los Angeles, Rudolph Giuliani in New York City and Gavin Newsom in San Francisco. Such policies refuse to tolerate even minor crimes; proponents argue that this will improve the quality of life of local residents. However, critics of zero tolerance policies believe that such policies neglect investigation on a case-by-case basis and may lead to unreasonably harsh penalties for crimes.
The popsicle index is a quality-of-life measurement coined by Catherine Austin Fitts as the percentage of people in a community who believe that a child in their community can leave their home alone, go to the nearest possible location to buy a popsicle or other snack, and return home safely.
Within the field of healthcare, quality of life is often regarded in terms of how a certain ailment affects a patient on an individual level. This may be a debilitating weakness that is not life-threatening; life-threatening illness that is not terminal; terminal illness; the predictable, natural decline in the health of an elder; an unforeseen mental/physical decline of a loved one; or chronic, end-stage disease processes. Researchers at the University of Toronto's Quality of Life Research Unit define quality of life as "The degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his or her life" (UofT). Their Quality of Life Model is based on the categories "being", "belonging", and "becoming"; respectively who one is, how one is not connected to one's environment, and whether one achieves one's personal goals, hopes, and aspirations.
Experience sampling studies show substantial between-person variability in within-person associations between somatic symptoms and quality of life. Hecht and Shiel measure quality of life as “the patient’s ability to enjoy normal life activities” since life quality is strongly related to wellbeing without suffering from sickness and treatment. There are multiple assessments available that measure Health-Related Quality of Life, e.g., AQoL-8D, EQ5D - Euroqol, 15D, SF-36, SF-6D, HUI.
Quality of life is an important concept in the field of international development since it allows development to be analyzed on a measure broader than standard of living. Within development theory, however, there are varying ideas concerning what constitutes desirable change for a particular society, and the different ways that quality of life is defined by institutions therefore shapes how these organizations work for its improvement as a whole.
Organisations such as the World Bank, for example, declare a goal of "working for a world free of poverty", with poverty defined as a lack of basic human needs, such as food, water, shelter, freedom, access to education, healthcare, or employment. In other words, poverty is defined as a low quality of life. Using this definition, the World Bank works towards improving quality of life through the stated goal of lowering poverty and helping people afford a better quality of life.
Other organizations, however, may also work towards improved global quality of life using a slightly different definition and substantially different methods. Many NGOs do not focus at all on reducing poverty on a national or international scale, but rather attempt to improve quality of life for individuals or communities. One example would be sponsorship programs that provide material aid for specific individuals. Although many organizations of this type may still talk about fighting poverty, the methods are significantly different.
Improving quality of life involves action not only by NGOs but also by governments. Global health has the potential to achieve greater political presence if governments were to incorporate aspects of human security into foreign policy. Stressing individuals’ basic rights to health, food, shelter, and freedom addresses prominent inter-sectoral problems negatively impacting today's society and may lead to greater action and resources. Integration of global health concerns into foreign policy may be hampered by approaches that are shaped by the overarching roles of defense and diplomacy.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections. Other signs and symptoms may include sinus infections, poor growth, fatty stool, clubbing of the fingers and toes, and infertility in most males. Different people may have different degrees of symptoms.CF is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. It is caused by the presence of mutations in both copies of the gene for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Those with a single working copy are carriers and otherwise mostly normal. CFTR is involved in production of sweat, digestive fluids, and mucus. When the CFTR is not functional, secretions which are usually thin instead become thick. The condition is diagnosed by a sweat test and genetic testing. Screening of infants at birth takes place in some areas of the world.There is no known cure for cystic fibrosis. Lung infections are treated with antibiotics which may be given intravenously, inhaled, or by mouth. Sometimes, the antibiotic azithromycin is used long term. Inhaled hypertonic saline and salbutamol may also be useful. Lung transplantation may be an option if lung function continues to worsen. Pancreatic enzyme replacement and fat-soluble vitamin supplementation are important, especially in the young. Airway clearance techniques such as chest physiotherapy have some short-term benefit, but long-term effects are unclear. The average life expectancy is between 42 and 50 years in the developed world. Lung problems are responsible for death in 80% of people with cystic fibrosis.CF is most common among people of Northern European ancestry and affects about one out of every 3,000 newborns. About one in 25 people is a carrier. It is least common in Africans and Asians. It was first recognized as a specific disease by Dorothy Andersen in 1938, with descriptions that fit the condition occurring at least as far back as 1595. The name "cystic fibrosis" refers to the characteristic fibrosis and cysts that form within the pancreas.Hart District
Hart is a local government district in Hampshire, England, named after the River Hart. Its council is based in Fleet. It was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the urban district of Fleet, and the Hartley Wintney Rural District. It was named the best place to live in the UK in the 2017 Halifax quality of life study.Hart District is one of the richest and least deprived areas in the whole of the United Kingdom. In the Indices of Deprivation 2015, Hart was ranked at 326 out of 326 local authorities in England, where 1 was the most deprived area and 326 the least deprived, meaning Hart is the least deprived area in England.For five years running (2011-2015), an annual study conducted by the Halifax bank named Hart as the UK's most desirable place to live for quality of life. The study took into account jobs, housing, health, crime, weather, traffic and broadband access. It found that in 2014 97% of people in the local authority area were in good health, and in 2011 tended to have incomes 40% above the national average.Legatum Prosperity Index
The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking developed by the Legatum Institute, a division of the private investment firm Legatum. The ranking is based on a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth, education, health, personal well-being, and quality of life. In the 2018 rankings, 149 countries were ranked, and Norway topped the list, followed by New Zealand and Finland. Afghanistan was on the last place. In 2013, twenty-seven of the top 30 countries were democracies.Miss Alabama
The Miss Alabama competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the U.S. state of Alabama in the annual Miss America pageant.
Alabama has won three Miss America titles: Deidre Downs in 2005, Heather Whitestone (the first deaf woman to win the Miss America crown) in 1995, and Yolande Betbeze in 1951. Betbeze is also known as the contestant who refused to pose in a swimsuit, causing swimsuit sponsor Catalina Swimwear to pull out and ultimately start the Miss USA pageant.Tiara Pennington of Helena was crowned Miss Alabama 2019 on June 8, 2019 at Wright Center on the Samford University campus in Birmingham, Alabama. She will compete for the title of Miss America 2020 in September 2019.Miss America 2010
Miss America 2010, the 83rd Miss America pageant, was held on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada at the Theatre for the Performing Arts of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on Saturday, January 30, 2010. Miss America 2009, Katie Stam from Indiana, crowned her successor, Caressa Cameron from Virginia, at the end of the event.Contestants from all 50 states along with District of Columbia, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico competed for the prestigious title. The pageant was broadcast live on TLC. This edition was the 5th year that Las Vegas hosted the pageant.
Fifteen contestants were selected as finalists. After competing in swimsuit, the judges selected the top 12, and three are eliminated. After competing evening gown, ten were selected to compete in talent, and two are eliminated. Then, three are eliminated and seven were selected prior to the final interview. At the end of the competition, the 4 runners-up were announced first, followed by the new Miss America winner.Miss America 2012
Miss America 2012, the 85th Miss America pageant, was held at the Theatre for the Performing Arts of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada on Saturday, January 14, 2012. Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan from Nebraska, crowned her successor Laura Kaeppeler from Wisconsin at the end of this event. It was broadcast live on ABC. All 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico competed for the title.
Chris Harrison and Brooke Burke, for the second year in a row, hosted the pageant.Montalvânia
Montalvânia is a municipality in the northernmost point of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. As of 2008 the population was 16,265 in an area of 1,484.388 km². The elevation of the municipal seat is 510 meters, the postal code (CEP) is 39495-000 and it is located in the microregion of JanuáriaMost livable cities
The world's most livable cities is an informal name given to any list of cities as they rank on an annual survey of living conditions. Regions with cities commonly ranked in the top 50 include Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Three examples of such surveys are Monocle's "Most Liveable Cities Index", the Economist Intelligence Unit's "Global Liveability Ranking", and "Mercer Quality of Living Survey". Numbeo has the largest statistics and survey data based on cities and countries. Livability rankings may be used by employers assigning hardship allowances as part of job relocation.Palliative care
Palliative care is an interdisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress at any stage of illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. Evidence as of 2016 supports palliative care's efficacy in the improvement of a patient's quality of life.Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and other health professionals who work together with the primary care physician and referred specialists and other hospital or hospice staff to provide additional support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided as the main goal of care or along with curative treatment. Although it is an important part of end-of-life care, it is not limited to that stage. Palliative care can be provided across multiple settings including in hospitals, at home, as part of community palliative care programs, and in skilled nursing facilities. Interdisciplinary palliative care teams work with people and their families to clarify goals of care and provide symptom management, psycho-social, and spiritual support.
Physicians sometimes use the term palliative care in a sense meaning palliative therapies without curative intent, when no cure can be expected (as often happens in late-stage cancers). For example, tumor debulking can continue to reduce pain from mass effect even when it is no longer curative. A clearer usage is palliative, noncurative therapy when that is what is meant, because palliative care can be used along with curative or aggressive therapies.
Medications and treatments are said to have a palliative effect if they relieve symptoms without having a curative effect on the underlying disease or cause. This can include treating nausea related to chemotherapy or something as simple as morphine to treat the pain of broken leg or ibuprofen to treat pain related to an influenza infection.Prognosis
Prognosis (Greek: πρόγνωσις "fore-knowing, foreseeing") is a medical term for predicting the likely or expected development of a disease, including whether the signs and symptoms will improve or worsen (and how quickly) or remain stable over time; expectations of quality of life, such as the ability to carry out daily activities; the potential for complications and associated health issues; and the likelihood of survival (including life expectancy). A prognosis is made on the basis of the normal course of the diagnosed disease, the individual's physical and mental condition, the available treatments, and additional factors. A complete prognosis includes the expected duration, function, and description of the course of the disease, such as progressive decline, intermittent crisis, or sudden, unpredictable crisis.
When applied to large statistical populations, prognostic estimates can be very accurate: for example the statement "45% of patients with severe septic shock will die within 28 days" can be made with some confidence, because previous research found that this proportion of patients died. This statistical information does not apply to the prognosis for each individual patient: additional information is needed to determine whether a patient belongs to the 45% who will die, or to the 55% who survive.Quality of life (healthcare)
In general, quality of life (QoL or QOL) is the perceived quality of an individual's daily life, that is, an assessment of their well-being or lack thereof. This includes all emotional, social and physical aspects of the individual's life. In health care, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an assessment of how the individual's well-being may be affected over time by a disease, disability or disorder.Sex reassignment surgery
Sex reassignment surgery (SRS), also known as gender reassignment surgery (GRS) and several other names, is a surgical procedure (or procedures) by which a transgender person's physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that socially associated with their identified gender. It is part of a treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender people.
Professional medical organizations have established Standards of Care that apply before someone can apply for and receive reassignment surgery, including psychological evaluation, and a period of real-life experience living in the desired gender.
Feminization surgeries are surgeries that result in anatomy that is typically gendered female. These surgeries include vaginoplasty, feminizing augmentation mammoplasty, orchiectomy, facial feminization surgery, reduction thyrochondroplasty (tracheal shave), and voice feminization surgery among others.
Masculinization surgeries are surgeries that result in anatomy that is typically gendered male. These surgeries include chest masculinization surgery (top surgery), metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, scrotoplasty, and hysterectomy.
In addition to SRS, patients may need to follow a lifelong course of masculinizing or feminizing hormone replacement therapy.Squitten
A squitten is a cat with a genetic deformity which causes a partial formation or complete absence of the radius bone making it resemble a squirrel. These cats should be kept indoors and seen to by specialist veterinarians as long term management of the condition is essential for quality of life in these cats It is an example of a cat body type genetic mutation. The word is a portmanteau of squirrel and kitten.
The term kangaroo cat is also, rarely, used; this derives from a 1953 specimen known as the Stalingrad Kangaroo Cat.Standard of living
An individual’s or a socioeconomic class’s standard of living is the level of wealth, comfort, material goods, and necessities available to them in a certain geographic area, usually a country. The standard of living includes factors such as income, quality and availability of employment, class disparity, poverty rate, quality and affordability of housing, hours of work required to purchase necessities, gross domestic product, inflation rate, amount of leisure time every year, affordable (or free) access to quality healthcare, quality and availability of education, life expectancy, incidence of disease, cost of goods and services, infrastructure, national economic growth, economic and political stability,freedom, environmental quality, climate and safety. The standard of living is closely related to quality of life.Video game developer
A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.A developer may specialize in a certain video game console (such as Nintendo's Nintendo Switch, Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony's PlayStation 4), or may develop for a number of systems (including personal computers and mobile devices). Video-game developers specialize in certain types of games (such as role-playing video games or first-person shooters). Some focus on porting games from one system to another, or translating games from one language to another. Less commonly, some do software-development work in addition to games.
Most video game publishers maintain development studios (such as Electronic Arts's EA Canada, Square Enix's studios, Activision's Radical Entertainment, Nintendo EAD and Sony's Polyphony Digital and Naughty Dog). However, since publishing is still their primary activity they are generally described as "publishers" rather than "developers". Developers may be private as well (such as how Bungie was, the company which developed the Halo series exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox).Well-being
Well-being, wellbeing, or wellness is the condition of an individual or group. A high level of well-being means that in some sense the individual's or group's condition is positive.Wellness (alternative medicine)
Wellness is generally used to mean a state beyond absence of illness but rather aims to optimize well-being. It is often used as an umbrella term for pseudoscientific health interventions.The notions behind the term share the same roots as the alternative medicine movement, in 19th-century movements in the US and Europe that sought to optimize health and to consider the whole person, like New Thought, Christian Science, and Lebensreform.Where-to-be-born Index
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s where-to-be-born index (previously called the quality-of-life index, abbreviated QLI) attempts to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead. It is based on a method that links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys to the objective determinants of quality of life across countries along with a forward-looking element.