6. Conclusion: Label What We Measure
Figure 1 shows one attempt to depict the relationship between health concepts and general quality of life, and how determinants from the internal (individual) as well as the external (social and cultural) environment influence the general quality of life.
External to Individual
Social and Cultural ↔ Economical and Political ↔ Physical and Geographic ↔ Health and Social Care
Health Status and Health-Related Quality of Life
Symptoms ↔ Functional Status ↔ Health Perceptions ↔ Opportunity
Internal to Individual
Biology and Life Course ↔ Lifestyles and Health Behavior ↔ Illness Behaviors ↔ Personality and Motivation ↔ Values and Preferences
ALL factors influence ‘General Quality of Life’
Roll over the Health Status and Health Related Quality of Life concepts to learn more about what constitutes and is included in each concept.
Descriptions for the following the Health Status and Health Related Quality of Life concepts are:
Symptoms- Symptoms are reports of Physical and Psychological sensations that are not directly observable, e.g. energy, fatigue, nausea, and irritability.
Functional Status- Physical function includes limitations and activity reactions, e.g., self care walking, mobility, sometimes sleep and sexual function. Psychological function covers both positive and negative affect and cognitive well being, e.g,anger, alertness, self-esteem, sense of well-being and distress. Social function focuses on engagement, limitations in work, school, play, household management, and participation in the community.
Health Perceptions- Perceptions range from specific concerns about health and well-being to general ratings of health and quality of life, e.g., satisfaction or overall well-being
Opportunity- Finally, opportunity includes perceptions of stigma or reports of disadvantage because of health as well as reports of ability to cope or withstand stress and illness.