Use of the terms "Wellbeing" and "Quality of Life" in health sciences: a conceptual framework

Luis Salvador-Carulla, Ramona Lucas, José Luis Ayuso-Mateos, Marta Miret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and Objectives: The assessment of wellbeing is a top priority in health sciences. The aim of this paper is to review the history of the concept of wellbeing and "Quality of Life" (QoL), and to understand the theories and assumptions that guided this field in order to provide a conceptual framework that may eventually facilitate the development of a formal synset (grouping of synonyms and semantically similar terms) of health-related wellbeing. Methods: The history of the concept of wellbeing and QoL was reviewed in order to provide a conceptual framework. Results: Huge differences exist on the definition of "Wellbeing" and its relationship with QoL, "Happiness" and "Functioning" in the health context. From a dimensional perspective, health related wellbeing could be regarded as an overarching construct characterised by asymmetrical polarity, where "wellbeing" embeds the concept of "ill-being" as "health" incorporates de concept of "disease". Conclusions: A common conceptual framework of these terms may eventually facilitate the development of a formal synset of health-related wellbeing. This terminological clarification should be part of a new taxonomy of health-related wellbeing based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework that may facilitate knowledge transfer across different sectors and semantic interoperability for care management and planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-65
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychiatry
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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