A Perspective on Quality of Life in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation: Identifying the Basis for Future Research

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Luxana Reynaga-Ornelas, MN, RN
Departamento de Enfermería sede León, Universidad de Guanajuato Campus León. División de Ciencias de la Salud, León, Guanajuato, Mexico
Nelma B. Crawford Shearer, PhD
College of Nursing, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Carol M. Baldwin, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN
College of Nursing & Health Innovation; Southwest Borderlands; Director, Office of World Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Sergio Márquez-Gamiño, MD, PhD
Departamento de Ciencias Aplicadas al Trabajo. División de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Guanajuato Campus León, León, Guanajuato, Mexico

Learning Objective 1: know different Quality of Life approaches/models in present literature as well as a concept analysis performed.

Learning Objective 2: discover a perspective of Quality of Life as an alternative for theory-based research in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation.

Backround: Quality of Life (QOL) is a broad concept used in a wide variety of human activities from different perspectives. It has been used as a guide to design interventions, or as a desired outcome in health sciences. As an objective and subjective concept, many authors have attempted to measure it in diverse ways. However, the meaning of QOL varies from discipline to discipline.

Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to review the literature relevant to Nursing and Healthcare Innovation and to present a concept analysis of QOL.

Methods: We followed six of the Walker and Avant’s (2005) steps: select the concept, determine the aims of the analysis, identify uses of the concept, defining attributes, antecedents, consequences and empirical referents. A literature search was conducted using “quality of life” and “concept analysis” key terms on CINAHL and PubMed data bases. A general search for recent news and references for QOL in Google was included. Additional articles were incorporated from researchers' references listings. Several conceptual models and theories related to QOL were explored.

Results: There is general agreement about the multidimensionality of QOL. Authors have proposed physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions. Few articles reported theory-based QOL concepts. The concept of ‘health related quality of life’ is often used in health sciences to refer to health-affected dimensions, but some researcgers questioned that health situations could affect all personal dimensions and individuals cannot distinguish disruption solely in one dimension. A QOL holistic perspective of the human experience of living health/disease is presented.

Conclusion: As the aim and focus of each discipline is different, measurement approaches must complement each other, and research must be multidisciplinary, theory-based, and include subjective and objective indicators. A holistic nursing perspective of QOL is suggested in order to design integrative and innovative healthcare interventions.