how does health affect quality of life?

Health-related quality of life (HrQoL) has become an important outcome for assessing patients' subjective perspective. Dr Mark Oremus is an associate professor at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo (Canada). He goes beyond direct measures of population health, life expectancy and causes of death, and focuses on the impact of health status on quality of life. When quality of life is considered in the context of health and illness, it is often referred to as health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

The World Health Organisation (199) also defined HRQoL as "individuals' perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, norms and concerns". The HRQoL construct allows health agencies to legitimately address broader areas of healthy public policy around a common theme in collaboration with a wider circle of health partners, including social service agencies, community planners and business groups. Analysis of HRQoL surveillance data can identify subgroups with relatively poor perceived health and help target interventions to improve their situation and avoid more serious consequences. Consequently, when assessing quality of life in a medical context, healthcare professionals should analyse the impact of disease and therapy on the patient's life, as subjectively perceived by the patient.

Even when diagnosed with a rare disease of bone marrow failure, work can be done to establish a favourable health-related quality of life and well-being. Quality of life can help us understand those aspects of life that go beyond health, such as education and the social environment. She is a health economist at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, based at the NDPH, and holds a PhD in public health from Oxford University. Quality of life and HRQoL are different, but both aim to capture the subjective perception and assessment of a patient's health and well-being.

Erika Ossenfort
Erika Ossenfort

Hipster-friendly food fan. Professional pop culture advocate. Freelance internet ninja. Devoted web fan. Extreme music evangelist.

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