Healthcare and quality of life go hand-in-hand when it comes to social and lifestyle assessment. Specifically, there is such a thing as health-related quality of life which is composed of the different dimensions of life. These dimensions include the emotional, mental, physical, and social aspects of the life of a person. Health care on the other hand has its focus on the prevention, treatment, and management of illnesses. In its entirety, health care aims to preserve the life of a person.
Health Care and Quality of Life
Considering that health care and quality of life are parallel to one another, then measuring these two require specific criteria and this includes the following:
- Factor-specific disease – assessment of the symptoms, diseases, and degree of disability of the disease or health of a person. If an individual is ill, then the degree of the effect of the illness will also be factored in assessing the person’s quality of life.
- General health – if the person does not have any illness or disease, an assessment of his or her general health will be carried out. This assessment includes blood pressure, temperature, X-ray results, sugar levels, and other standard tests.
- Psychological well-being – this can be measured according to the person’s environmental mastery, autonomy, personal growth, positive relationship with others, identification of one’s life purpose, and self-acceptance.
- Beliefs and health – this can also be considered as a common measurement. This component includes the motivation of a person to know more about his or her health; knowledge on their health; and their behavior.
Understanding Health-Related Quality of Life
The concept of health-related quality of life or HRQOL has been developed since the 1980s. The identified factors above play a critical role in ensuring that the physical and mental health of a person affects their lifestyle and even choices.
Nonetheless, HRQOL does not only focus on an individual level, though the criteria previously discussed focuses on the said level. Other factors that influence HRQOL also include the following:
- Community – the community where a person belongs or a group which they attribute themselves with also affects one’s HRQOL. This does not only involves the people or members of the group as the policies, overall environmental conditions, and even the beliefs and practices of the community also influence the HRQOL of a person.
- Institutions – the private and government institutions affect the HRQOL of an individual. Their mental and physical health can be attributed to the lack of or the strong presence of groups that can affect they’re perceived physical and psychological health.
It is important to track or monitor the HRQOL of a person because it can influence the entirety of the community or group where he or she belongs. Aside from this, it can also affect how lawmakers and even the media portray a person and how policies are set in the and for the community.
Aside from this, results from HRQOL assessment had also developed the following:
- Results from HRQOL surveys had helped institutions, including the World Health Organization to identify the relationship between chronic diseases, such as breast cancer and diabetes and risk factors, such as physical inactivity and cigarette smoking.
- Preventable diseases have also been identified because of the results from surveys and self-reports regarding HRQOL. New insights on disabilities and injuries were also gathered from HRQOL assessment.
- More importantly, the results of the HRQOL of a nation also influence the primary health objective of the country. It dramatically influences policies and perception from different institutions, both private and public.
Assessment and Data Gathering Methods
A structured assessment can be used to collect clinical information about HRQOL. Interpretations of the results must also be standardized to ensure that instruments are set for universal use. Other countries, communities, or groups may also develop their tool in order to align the tools with their culture, beliefs, and other practices.