Stenner, Paul, Cooper, D. and Skevington, S.
Putting the Q into quality of life; the identification of subjective constructions of health-related quality of life using Q methodology
Social Science & Medicine, 57 (11).
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Health related quality of life (HRQOL) is presented as a largely subjective construct of increasing importance in health discourse and practice. Key difficulties with the assessment and measurement of quality of life (QOL) are discussed. A Q methodological investigation of subjective constructions of health-related QOL is then reported using importance items derived from studies of the WHOQOL. Eight factors emerged from a factor analysis of the Q sorts of 90 healthy participants, each corresponding to a distinct construction of the meaning and relevance of QOL. The factors are interpreted and discussed under the following headings: ‘Happy families, ‘Stand on my own two feet’, ‘Emotional independence’, ‘Just do it!’, ‘Life as a positive challenge’, ‘In God we trust’, ‘Staying healthy enough to bring home the bacon’ and ‘You can’t choose your family’. This diversity of views has implications for QOL testing.
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