Quality of Life

Essay by Fab111 May 2004

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Quality of life and quality of service are concepts faced by everybody. Quality of life relates to happiness and wellbeing on a personal level whereas quality of service is a business enterprise requiring high standards and customer satisfaction. However, for people with disabilities quality of life and quality of service become inter-related because of the reliance of disabled people on services to assist them to achieve their goals. These issues are important to people with disabilities because without a productive service there is no quality of life.


Quality of life (QOL) has a different meaning for each and every individual. It is based on the person's satisfaction of his/her life, and personal perceptions. Personal fulfilment is the centre of quality of life according to Galambos, 1996; Schumaker, Anderson, & Czajkowski, 1990; Burchkhardt, 2000). This is supported by the World Health Organization, which has defined quality of life as:

'The individuals' perceptions of their position in life in the context of the cultural and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns'.

(World Health Organization, 1993)

Powers and Goode (cited by Goode, 1990) propose six dimensions to determine quality of life including cognitive, social, physical and emotional functioning. The fifth facet involves individual productivity or the degree in which the person contributes to society. The last definition takes in the area of sexual intimacy and relationships with other people.

Schalock (1992), developed a comparative summary of items he felt critical to QOL not only from an individual perspective but also from the perspective of people with disabilities as follows:

· Physical and material happiness

· Relationships with other people

· Social, community and public activities

· Personal development and contentment

· Choices in all facets of daily...