Quality of life is emerging as a central construct within many disciplines, such as those comprising the social sciences, economics, and medicine. Its attractions, in part, is that it offers an alternative to some traditional disciplinary views about how to measure success. First, it directs attention onto the positive aspects of people's lives, thus running counter to the deficit orientation of these disciplines. Second, it extends the traditional objective measures of health, wealth, and social functioning to include subjective perceptions of well-being.
The following generic definitions of Quality of Life has been adopted by the Centre.
"Quality of life is both objective and subjective. Each of these two axes comprises several domains which, together, define the total construct. Objective domains are measured through culturally relevant indices of objective well-being. Subjective domains are measured through questions of satisfaction."
Note: Discussion is invited in relation to this definition. Please address correspondence to Bob Cummins.
Quality of life is a construct used by many different disciplines. This is one of the features that makes attendance at quality of life conferences so interesting and challenging. Each discipline has its own received wisdom as to how to describe the information that defines their area of interest. So when a construct like 'Quality of life' is incorporated into these different disciplinary contexts, it emerges in forms that are biased towards each discipline.
The following section has been prepared to exemplify these different views of how Quality of Life should be defined and conceptualized.