Q is for… Quality of Life

The Psychologist A to Z continues.

Suggested by Lisa Thorpe, PhD student at the University of Chester 

‘The choices we make today affect our quality of life as we get older. The population over the age of 65 is rising and so are reports of feeling isolated and lonely. Whether it’s listening to music or participating in a club, it is important that the benefits of activities and how they influence our quality of life long-term are reported.’

Living with chronic conditions or severe allergies in youth can clearly have a major impact on quality of life.
In articles by Line Caes and Abbie Jordan (February 2017), and Kathryn Evans and Khadj Rouf (May 2014), we heard about these issues and how studying them requires mixed methods and attention to the voices of young people.

In her March 2016 ‘New voices’, Evelyn Barron considered quality of life in our ageing population, asking, ‘Is healthy ageing a long life, a disease-free life, a good quality of life or the ability to remain independent in later life?’

In our first ‘Viewpoints’ piece in April 2012 we heard about how ‘the wellbeing of a caregiver goes hand in hand with quality of life of the care recipient’.

A study (reported on our Research Digest) of the effects of the ‘cool challenge’ – a 30-day event in the Netherlands that involved more than 3000 people taking daily showers that ran cold for at least the last 30 seconds – found positive effects on quality of life!

Some psychologists call trying to define quality of life a ‘wild goose chase’ (see tinyurl.com/y9v8jzjf).

- Tweet your suggestions for any letter to @psychmag using the hashtag #PsychAtoZ or email the editor on [email protected]

Entries so far are collated at https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/psychology-z

Illustration by Karla Novak

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