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Qual Life Res. 2019 Oct;28(10):2641-2650. doi: 10.1007/s11136-019-02214-9. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

A systematic review of quality of life research in medicine and health sciences.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health- and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, P.O Box 422, 4604, Kristiansand, Norway. Kristin.haraldstad@uia.no.
2
Department of Health Sciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1084, Blindern, 0317, Oslo, Norway.
3
Faculty of Health, OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University, St. Olavs plass, P.O. Box 4, 0130, Oslo, Norway.
4
Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), P.O. Box 7030, 5020, Bergen, Norway.
5
Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, P.O. Box 6050, Langnes, Tromsø, Norway.
6
University Hospital of North Norway, P.O. Box 100, 9038, Tromsø, Norway.
7
Faculty of Health Studies, VID Specialized University, Mailbox 184, Vinderen, NO, 0319, Norway.
8
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stavanger, P.O. Box 8600, Forus, Norway.
9
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Leuven, P.O. Box 7001, Kapucijnenvoer, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.
10
Haukeland University Hospital, P.O. Box 1400, 5021, Bergen, Norway.
11
Faculty of Health- and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, P.O Box 422, 4604, Kristiansand, Norway.
12
Department of Clinical Research, SSHF, P.O. Box 416, 4604, Kristiansand, Norway.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Quality of life (QOL) is an important concept in the field of health and medicine. QOL is a complex concept that is interpreted and defined differently within and between disciplines, including the fields of health and medicine. The aims of this study were to systematically review the literature on QOL in medicine and health research and to describe the country of origin, target groups, instruments, design, and conceptual issues.

METHODS:

A systematic review was conducted to identify research studies on QOL and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The databases Scopus, which includes Embase and MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched for articles published during one random week in November 2016. The ten predefined criteria of Gill and Feinstein were used to evaluate the conceptual and methodological rigor.

RESULTS:

QOL research is international and involves a variety of target groups, research designs, and QOL measures. According to the criteria of Gill and Feinstein, the results show that only 13% provided a definition of QOL, 6% distinguished QOL from HRQOL. The most frequently fulfilled criteria were: (i) stating the domains of QOL to be measured; (ii) giving a reason for choosing the instruments used; and (iii) aggregating the results from multiple items.

CONCLUSION:

QOL is an important endpoint in medical and health research, and QOL research involves a variety of patient groups and different research designs. Based on the current evaluation of the methodological and conceptual clarity of QOL research, we conclude that the majority QOL studies in health and medicine have conceptual and methodological challenges.

KEYWORDS:

Health-related quality of life; Quality of life; Systematic review

PMID:
31187410
PMCID:
PMC6761255
DOI:
10.1007/s11136-019-02214-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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