Featured Topic: Quality of life

Our final featured topic for the year is quality of life, which has been defined by the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Group as “individuals’ perceptions 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” (p. 551).

Within this domain, a number of SBP authors and researchers have chosen to focus on the concept of health-related quality of life. Among various factors, the use of adaptive coping strategies when faced with a cancer diagnosis (Barinková & Mesarosova, 2013) and having a supportive social network after sustaining an injury while playing sport (Malinauskas, 2010), have been found to have a positive influence on individuals’ health-related quality of life. In contrast, experiences of loneliness among people with a physical disability (Rokach, Lechcier-Kimel, & Safarov, 2006) and the stress caused by overly high academic achievement expectations (Vaez & Laflamme, 2008) have been reported as having a negative effect. It’s clear from the diverse range of variables covered here that both mental and physical health aspects have a role to play in determining one’s overall level of this type of quality of life. 

Another quality of life-related area that has received attention from our authors is work–life balance. Being afforded the opportunity to “switch off” from work and take part in leisure activities of one’s choosing (Chen, 2016) allows employees the time to recover mentally and physically, whereas being required to be constantly available and accounted for, even outside of standard work hours (e.g., through compulsory installation of messenger or chat room monitoring apps on one’s smartphone; Lee, 2016), increases stress and decreases the likelihood of optimum recovery.

All of the members of the SBP Journal team  have experience with another facet of work–life balance: working from home. Although such an arrangement has benefits such as allowing for flexibility in structuring one’s day, having work so readily accessible at all times means that it can be a challenge to separate the job from relaxation times!

In sum, as can be seen from the range of countries represented in the following sample of SBP papers, the concept of quality of life can certainly be said to have worldwide relevance. Over 150 additional studies on this topic can be located in the archives on our website; why not have a browse  and see if you can find some novel ways to improve your quality of life?

Harper, A., & Power, M. on behalf of the WHOQOL Group. (1998). Development of the World Health Organization WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment. Psychological Medicine, 28, 551–558.  

Do personal resources influence health-related quality of life for people receiving hemodialysis treatment in Latin America? – Alfonso Urzúa, Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar, Japsy Margarita Quiceno, Stefano Vinaccia Alpi, and Nicole Pavlov, 2015, 43(3), 367–382.

Health-related quality of life and antiretroviral therapy in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa – Karl Peltzer, 2012, 40(2), 267–282.

The effect of recreational sport involvement on work stress and quality of life in central Taiwan – Chin-tsai Kuo, 2013, 41(10), 1705–1716.

The impact of sibling status on Chinese college students’ quality of life – Glen Edwards, Art Bangert, Gregory Cooch, Naotaka Shinfuku, Tao Chen, Yongyi Bi, and Paula Rappe, 2005, 33(3), 227–242.

Quality of life in Turkish university students and its relationship to levels of state-trait anxiety – Demet Unalan, Mustafa Celikten, Ferhan Soyuer, and Ahmet Ozturk, 2008, 36(3), 417–424.

Cross-cultural quality of life: Japanese and American college students – Kenneth D. Keith, Makoto Yamamoto, Noriko Okita, and Robert Schalock, 1995, 23(2), 163–170.