Health related quality of life (HRQOL) is presented as a largely subjective construct of increasing importance in health discourse and practice. Key difficulties with the assessment and measurement of quality of life (QOL) are discussed. A Q methodological investigation of subjective constructions of health-related QOL is then reported using importance items derived from studies of the WHOQOL. Eight factors emerged from a factor analysis of the Q sorts of 90 healthy participants, each corresponding to a distinct construction of the meaning and relevance of QOL. The factors are interpreted and discussed under the following headings: ‘Happy families, ‘Stand on my own two feet’, ‘Emotional independence’, ‘Just do it!’, ‘Life as a positive challenge’, ‘In God we trust’, ‘Staying healthy enough to bring home the bacon’ and ‘You can’t choose your family’. This diversity of views has implications for QOL testing.
- Quality of life
- Q methodology