Quality of life: what is it and how do you measure it?

Digital publication final meeting Quality of Life and Health

12 July 2019

The term “quality of life” is receiving increasing attention in healthcare. But how do you define quality of life and how do you measure it? Six projects did research into these questions and presented the results during the closing meeting of the research programme Quality of Life and Health of NWO and ZonMw on 16 June 2019 in Utrecht.

Final conference Quality of Life and Health

The research programme Quality of Life and Health focused on what quality of life is and on the analysis of existing measurement instruments for this as well as the development of new ones. For this, due consideration was given to the differences between people, such as between psychiatric patients, people with severe learning disabilities and multiple disabilities or elderly people living at home. There was specific attention for the different levels of decision-making where insight into quality of life can play a role – from decisions at the individual patient level to political decision-making.

Applicable research results for daily practice

Researchers from the humanities and the health sciences worked closely together to increase the knowledge about quality of life. During the final meeting, the research projects presented themselves and the research results by means of research posters, short films and a meet and greet session to give the public insight into the research outcomes. The short films and posters can be viewed via the link to the report of the meeting at the bottom of this news release.

Policy brief

Prof. Martin van Hees (VU Amsterdam) presented the policy brief that he developed together with Prof. Carmen Dirksen and Dr Merel Kimman (Maastricht University). The document provides an overview of the most important issues about quality of life and health, research results and suggestions for policy and further research. The policy brief was presented to Prof. Jet Bussemaker. She underlined the usefulness of the document for improving healthcare in the Netherlands: ‘The attention for quality of life means that we can speak of people more than of patients, and more of health than care’. The policy brief about quality of life (Dutch only) can be downloaded here.

More information in the digital publication

Are you curious to find out more about what was discussed during the final meeting of the programme Quality of Life and Health and would you like to view the short films and posters from the projects? Then please see the digital publication (Dutch only). Would you like to know more about the research programme? Then please visit the programme page on the NWO website and view the video about this researchprogramme (Dutch only).

Source: NWO