Alain Lepage, associate professor in management
University of Technology of ">
Quality of Life Model
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Quality of Life Model
lepage, Member, Teacher, France
The Quality of Life model as attribute of the sustainability concept
(for all figures, see files in "photo")
Alain Lepage, associate professor in management
University of Technology of Compiègne, France
Keywords: Quality of Life, Well being, happiness, QoL measurement, sustainability, political system
Category: Service Quality Management
The Quality of Life (QoL) is a very popular topic, frequently used in the daily discussions of customers and citizens about their personal needs, expectations and requirements, but very difficult to understand, lacking sense which should come from it's quality definition and lacking available measurement which should come from a factual quality control process.
So our paper begins with a theoretical approach about the QoL theme and a survey designing the map of common parts, discriminations and links between QoL, well-being, health, safety, pleasure, and sustainability. As we have been working on quality services, quality products, change management, organisational development and polls, for many years in companies and state offices (the “voice of the customer” method (Griffin, Hauser, Shiba, Lepage)), our laboratory stocks a large data base about QoL's perception, which can be used in this research. A second survey, also used in this research to validate our assumptions, comes from customer's needs and expectations for a pill-maker which offers to our laboratory to study new products and services.
1- Markov model of the Quality of Life concept:
This part, retaking a previous presentation of our research (A. Lepage, Montenegro, September 2005), offers some improvements of our analyses which has been made in our laboratory from this period.
1.2 – Previous research in un–linear models for political system evaluation:
Here quality perception is the perception of the image seen by citizens when they understand the quality system presented by politicians in their political program, as description of a future proposed to listeners modelled in 2 reverse processes (see figures 3 and 4, and Lepage, TAR journals, 2006). The first process, of sustainability, is made up of many resources, supports and actions which offer citizens a better quality of life. What we define as sustainability is the measure of the quality of the political system, as mentioned in the report on the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Landolt, and Agenda 21). A more detailed definition is postulated by Afgan and Carvalho (Afgan): "the measure of the quality of our society is its ability to secure, and not compromise, the right of future generations to have a quality of life, at least equal to that of its own generation". Sustainability is seen here as people's self organisation driven by the desire to obtain the best quality of life, under constraints of financial feasibility and individual and collective safety. However, some authors view sustainability as a measure of quality (Gianpiero, Mayuari, Postar) and others underline the high level of complexity in the measurement of sustainability (Heylighen). The second process, of safety, concerns the natural effect of self degradation (Levenson), particularly in the case of complex systems, with a worldwide measurement tool, the "World Disaster Report". As the two processes are evaluated with the same approach as the measurement of quality, we can consider that they hold a similar place in the conception of life.
2.2 - Health and Quality of Life:
Based on links between health, medicine and QoL (Pena, in The Economist Intelligence Unit) Measurement of quality of life is used in health with Qualtity Adjusted Life Years (QALYS), and Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). The cost of a treatment is usually assessed by the cost per QALY, or per DALY it produces (Bergner) with links on QoL (Landlot). All the authors relate the permanent confusion in patient perceptions of heath in QoL with well –being. Particularly, they think that health quality of life comprises: happiness, freedom, standard of living .We can read about Pena linearity between physical state of the body and perception of QoL( Netz, Wu).
2.3 – Human Development and Quality of Life:
When the customers and citizens perceive the two concepts as similar, many authors present the distinction between human development and QoL, like Dossa (Dossa) since 1989. That basic qualitative part of human aspect of QoL is the physical one, presented by Morris (Morris) since 1970 as: percentage of the population that is literate + infant mortality rate + life expectancy. Some criticism appears about these qualitative measurements which were affected of a lack in psychological and cultural attributes of the citizen's expression of their human perception of QoL (Hout M., from Russel Foundation, takes qualitative approaches as the most important part of living conditions). We share this point of view across our experience of many people's perception of life surveys, adding that both customers and citizens decide clearly to make a volunteer mix between QoL, well - being, human being, happiness and family social uses which we experimented as attributes of global QoL.
24 aggegations for life measurement: .....
We theoretically described in the second part of our study, the classical confusion made by customers and citizens on Quality of Life with its components like health, well – being, happiness and physical aspects of life. The conclusions are confirmed with the customer and citizen surveys which we made on the global QoL perception and on health approach seen by final users of medicines. The fist part analyses the efficiency of the Markov model twined with the aggregation method to calculate and measure the Quality of Life.
The validation on the two applications, French citizen’s perception of QoL, and customer perception of QoL in the health services field, offers some validated results:
- Some confusion between the concepts (QoL, happiness, well – being, health) in the same way which explained in the theoretical part;
- Impossible to measure the global QoL directly if we expect to work with a good reliability;
- It is possible to measure each attribute of the QoL, as positioned under QoL in their roots representation together, with a very good reliability and with sense;
- We have firstly to calculate the intermediary process of sustainability (like the safety one), from the detailed attribute’s measurements, with the aggregation method;
- We have finally to calculate global Quality of Life from the sustainability and the safety processes with a Markov calculation model.
Perhaps could we have an opportunity, for the first time, to make a study of the multitude of attributes elaborating the Quality of Life and interfaces between each of them, allowing us to make a better measurement of global QoL, in order to determine exhaustively concepts like health or Quality of Life? Such emergence allows our laboratory to preview further works about the complete evaluation of Quality of Life.
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