Qualityof Life Issues in Physical Illness

Over the past two decades, the emphasis on individual differences in adaptation and coping that characterize much of medical coping research, including its most comprehensive integrative models, has broadened to include an increased interest in quality of life. Quality-of-life perspectives adopt the World Health Organization's (1947) definition of health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being." As such, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) encompasses 1) disease state and physical symptoms, 2) functional status, 3) psychological/emotional functioning, and 4) social functioning (Aaronson 1989). HRQOL assessment relies on an individual's subjective evaluation of his or her well-being, with the goal of being able to track progress in this area in response to medical or psychosocial interventions (Quittner et al. 2003).

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