Quality of life is a verbal construction that is used to refer to the more or less regular level of personal and collective well – being It obeys international standards regarding the access that citizens have to adequate food, efficient public services, which include transportation, health, etc.

In any case, beyond the subjectivity that could intervene in the appreciation of each person about their level and quality of life, there are parameters that are already determined from psychology, economics and social studies, which serve to have a more objective idea of the ‘quality of life’ statute.

What is quality of life?

For the World Health Organization (WHO), quality of life is the perception that a citizen has of his existential space, based on his culture and the set of values ​​in which he operates, also taking into account his perspectives, precepts and wishes. There are then subjective factors related to the perception that the person has of his life, in the physical, psychological and social aspect.

In this sense, quality of life is an ideological construction or a subjective judgment of the level of happiness, satisfaction or well-being that has been achieved. In other words, the quality of life also depends on certain indicators, such as social, psychological, behavioral and biological.

In any case, the concept encompasses a set of objective and subjective elements that result in the sensation and state of well – being of an individual, not only in the material sphere but also emotionally. Without the basic conditions, the subject would not be able to satisfy their needs, that is, they would not have quality of life.

There are some methods to determine the quality of life. For example, the Spitzer Quality of Life Index (ISCV, 1981) and the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire (1988).

Quality of life characteristics

Based on the information, the quality of life is conditioned by a series of factors, which can be seen at first glance, in the form of social and demographic variables. For example: income per family, the links between age, sex and level of education, working and family conditions.

There are also indicators referring to people’s behavior and the social and infrastructure conditions available , such as the possibilities of accessing quality transport, educational, commercial and health services, among others.

In addition, they are essential components to determine the quality of life of a person and communities, the type of home or accommodation they use, their level of comfort and security , spending on services, etc. In summary, the quality of life indicators are:

  1. Factual situation: economic conditions, savings, type of housing, etc.
  2. Working conditions: number of hours, type of work and salary earned.
  3. Health services.
  4. Training and educational services.
  5. Access to recreation and social relationships.
  6. Personal security.
  7. Human rights.
  8. Environmental and contextual conditions.

In the case of the quality of life of sick individuals, there are some indicators, grouped as follows:

  1. Functional status, which includes the activities that an individual regularly performs, such as self-care, exercises, and daily errands related to roles.
  2. The signs of the body, noticed by the patients, related to the disease they suffer and the correlations with the treatments.
  3. Mental health implies the presence of anxiety and depression.
  4. Social development and how it is affected in patients with chronic diseases.
  5. A general assessment of the patient, because quality of life is more than the sum of a series of variables.

The expression “quality of life” has a profound effect on contemporary societies, because it is understood as an objective to be met at the individual and social level. In a context of technological modernization and growing economic development , the expression summarizes the human right to have a dignified way of life, in accordance with that growth.

Of course, the above indicators work differently depending on the society studied. That is, when talking, for example, about the quality of life of a Spanish region, with a scarce population of older adults, surely the awareness of well-being and quality of life of its inhabitants will be satisfactory, even when there is no access to new ones. technologies.

Country life, with access to fresh legumes and vegetables, can be a powerful variable for its inhabitants to consider themselves lucky. The perception of quality of life is then relative.

On the other hand, for the inhabitants of large cities, who need to cover long distances to get home, it is not important that their food comes directly from the garden to their table. Instead, they need energy efficient transportation systems and public services, access to education , among other necessities.

Importance of a good quality of life

Certainly the quality of life that citizens experience, in addition to being a perception that is based on the particular existential context , is a reality in the European Union, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, among other countries.

If the standard of living of some African countries is compared with developed countries , it is evident that there are substantial differences in the variables mentioned above: access to health services, food, transportation, housing, education, etc.

Among Latin American countries, statistics on the quality of life in the last decade highlight Chile as the country with the best expectations. But that is subject to discussion, given the new social and economic demands of recent times.

The great socio-economic difference that exists between the northern countries and the African countries, such as Mozambique, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, to name just a few, is no small matter.

The socioeconomic status of a country like Denmark, with a very positive perception of the citizen towards its institutions and public management systems, rivals the most basic unmet needs of those African countries.

According to statistical data, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland and Australia are the nations with the best quality of life on the planet, in addition to Norway, Ireland and Germany. These studies take into account factors such as progress, security, economic stability, level of literacy and gender equality , among others.

It must be assumed, and this is supported by the data, that the better the quality of life the population’s life expectancy increases , as well as the perception of existential well-being results in people’s emotional hygiene. The World Happiness Report points out that Finland, Denmark and Switzerland capitalize on the list of happiest countries and among the top ten countries none of Northern Europe are left out.

If the issue of high quality of life is seen as a conquest of the better socially structured peoples , whose basic and complementary needs are resolved, it might be assumed that the communities would have more time for technological, scientific and artistic invention.

In addition, it can be assumed that these societies have the most appropriate context for the development of soft skills, also called socio-emotional or transversal skills.

These skills stimulate emotional intelligence. In other words, socio-emotional skills involve the development of values ​​and aspects of the personality that drive assertive communication between individuals in a society.

In conclusion, psychological, physical and social well-being would, in theory, translate into a society that is more open to understanding peers and others who are not. It would have to be verified on the spot.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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