WHOQOL_Info - Introducing the WHOQOL instruments The...

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Introducing the WHOQOL instruments The Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as "A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being not merely the absence of disease . . .". It follows that the measurement of health and the effects of health care must include not only an indication of changes in the frequency and severity of diseases but also an estimation of well being and this can be assessed by measuring the improvement in the quality of life related to health care. Although there are generally satisfactory ways of measuring the frequency and severity of diseases this is not the case in so far as the measurement of well being and quality of life are concerned. WHO, with the aid of 15 collaborating centres around the world, has therefore developed two instruments for measuring quality of life (the WHOQOL-100 and the WHOQOL-BREF), that can be used in a variety of cultural settings whilst allowing the results from different populations and countries to be compared. These instruments have many uses, including use in medical practice, research, audit, and in policy making. WHO defines Quality of Life as an individual's 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, standards and concerns. It is a broad ranging concept affected in a complex way by the person's physical health, psychological state, personal beliefs, social relationships and their relationship to salient features of their environment.
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Strengths of the WHOQOL instruments The WHOQOL instruments were developed cross-culturally The WHOQOL-100 was developed simultaneously in 15 field centres around the world. The important aspects of quality of life and ways of asking about quality of life were drafted on the basis of statements made by patients with a range of diseases, by well people and by health professionals in a variety of cultures. The instrument was rigorously tested to assess its validity and reliability in each of the field centres and is currently being tested to assess responsiveness to change. The WHOQOL-BREF, an abbreviated 26 item version of the WHOQOL-100, was developed using data from the field-trial version of the WHOQOL-100. The WHOQOL instruments can be used in particular cultural settings, but at the same time results are comparable across cultures. The WHOQOL is now available in over 20 different languages and its development in further languages is progressing. The WHOQOL instruments place primary importance on the perception of the individual Most assessments in medicine are obtained by examinations by health workers and laboratory tests. The WHOQOL instruments, by focusing on individuals' own views of their well being, provide a new perspective on disease. For example, that diabetes involves poor body regulation of blood glucose is well understood, but the effect of the illness on the perception that individuals have of their social relationships, working
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WHOQOL_Info - Introducing the WHOQOL instruments The...

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