The Quality of Life (QOL) is a concept that entails the subjective analysis and evaluation of the aspects of life, both positive and negative (Barcaccia, Esposito, Matarese, Bertolaso, Elvira, De Marinis, 2013). In its initial context, QOL is a very broad concept. It can be viewed from various dimensions like jobs, school, housing, and neighbourhood (Theofilou, 2013). However, one of the most significant domains of QOL is health. The health of people provides a very imperative measurement on the QOL of the people. It is also an influential domain in QOL because if it is recorded to deteriorate, the other domains become significantly affected. This brings about the health-related QOL (HRQOL). This paper looks at the concept of QOL and provides an analysis of its significance in determining the success of healthcare operations.
In the 1970s, a lot of socio-medical problems that engulfed the society. People were faced with the dilemma of social progress. There was a lot of moral crisis that was cropping in the society, and this called for the resolution of finding a way to mediate between the two. The society was struggling with overpopulation and pollution. As a result, many medical professionals called on for the elimination of unwanted pregnancies and the use of sterilisation in hospitals.
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Again, technology had just picked up in the world and had registered immense success especially in the field of medicine. Many medical advances were made in this time. New and more effective forms of cancer therapy came into existence thus improving the quest for the fight against cancer. Artificial kidney also came into existence thus saving the lives of people who suffered from kidney failures. Before this artificial kidneys, individuals with kidney malfunctions were always left for the dead as not much could be done.
However, new technology proved not be efficient as it had been thought of previously. Medical practitioners started recognising disadvantages with the technology. It was found out that whereas they provided solutions to some very complex problems, they also left behind other health problems. Practitioners then started seeing the other side of the matter. The technology was lifesaving but not health preserving.
Further, the mid-20th century was also faced with cases of increased chronic infections. Many people became infected as a result of technological advancements in medicine. The quality of care provided was also questionable. Many people’s lives were saved, but they were left behind to battle other problems that came with the apparent medical trend. For instance, cancer patients whose body parts were cut out in surgery to prevent the spread of cancer cells were left disabled. This reduced the quality of care provided.
It was due to these advancements in the medical sector that need was found to come up with a concept that could help in finding a way to go about it. QOL provided a platform for the medical practitioners to assess the quality of healthcare provided to their patients (Radina, 2013). This meant that there would be a thorough analysis of the medical steps taken to provide medical solutions to patients, after which an evaluation of their effectiveness would be conducted. It also provided a ground for them to measure the impact that technology had on the provision of health care. Every piece of technology that was brought would be put to the test to see how it impacted on the wellness of human beings.
QOL transformed the medicinal field massively. Measurement of medical outcomes became a more advanced field with its onset. Previously, medical outcomes were measured through the criteria of life and death. Medical professionals could look at how many of their patients died or lived and gauged their progress from that. This method was, however, an inefficient way of determining medical outcomes as it did not account for the medical processes involved.
The concept QOL provided a solution to the social dilemma of the 1970s. It could measure the intensity of the social progress that was being made. Questions on the impact of the issue on over-population and pollution could be answered effectively as there was a measurement involved.
Today, the QOL has defined almost every field in the medical sector. It has transformed and revolutionised the healthcare fraternity thus improving the operations carried out. Hospitals are now much concerned with the HRQOL which is what determines the outcomes of medical activities. The furthered concept of HRQOL involves the measurement of QOL in regards to an individual’s or group’s physical and mental health perceptions (Romero, Vivas-Consuelo, Alvis-Guzman, 2013). It also encompasses the measurement of a conditions, policies, and practices and their influence on the medical health and perception.
HRQOL provides a basis for the medical professional and health agencies to gauge how healthy the people in the society are. It also provides insights on the performance of hospitals and the influence that new technology is brought to the spot (Revicki, Kleinman, & Cella, 2014). The world today is constantly changing with every day seeing the dawn of new technology. However, years of technological existence have proved that it comes at a cost. It is, therefore, paramount to ensure that for every piece of technology introduced into the medical sector, a measure of how it has impacted on the society is done. This provides a ground of argument to decide whether or not to uphold its use.
In conclusion, HRQOL advocates for the existence of a positive relationship between the environment and medical activities to the humankind. It is measured through the use of well-structured questionnaires that are filled out mostly by the community and patients. With this kind of concept in place, healthcare and nursing become effective in ensuring that health preservation is always kept ahead of life-saving.
Barcaccia, B.; Esposito, G.; Matarese, M.; Bertolaso, M.; Elvira, M.; & De Marinis, M., G. (2013). Defining Quality of Life: A Wild-Goose Chase? Europe’s Journal of Psychology , 9(1), 185-203.
Revicki, D. A; Kleinman, L.; & Cella, D. (2014). A history of health related quality of outcomes in psychiatry. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience . 16(2), 127-135.
Radina, M. (2013). Towards a Theory of Health Related Family Quality of Life. Journal of Family Theory and Review , 5(1), 35-50.
Romero, M.; Vivas-Consuelo, D. & Alvis-Guzman, N. (2013). Is Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) a valid indicator for health systems evaluation? SpringerPlus , 2(1), 664.
Theofilou, P. (2013). Quality of Life: Definition and Measurement. Europe’s Journal of Psychology , 9(1), 150-162.