Using health and subjective well-being for quality of life measurement: a review

Robert A. Cummins and Anna L.D. Lau

in Social Policy Review 18

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348449
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303459 | DOI:
Using health and subjective well-being for quality of life measurement: a review

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This chapter focuses on the relevance of SWB as a possible policy goal, and examines issues of measurement. It reviews and critiques different measures of health and well-being and explains the relevance of a measure of SWB for social policy. It describes how the concepts of mental health and quality of life have evolved within medicine and the social sciences. It then offers a critique of two of the most commonly used measures, Quality Adjusted Life Years and Health-related Quality of Life. It goes on to describe the concept of SWB and its measurement, drawing on the work as part of the International Wellbeing Group in developing the ‘Personal Wellbeing Index’. It explores the relevance of SWB measurement for social policy and argues that the development of new measures can inform policy decisions by providing comparable data about perceived quality of life across different groups in the population and between different communities.

Keywords: SWB; policy goal; issues of measurement; health and well-being; Quality Adjusted Life Years; Health-related Quality of Life; International Wellbeing Group; Personal Wellbeing Index

Chapter.  9965 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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