Analysing the Quality of Life Concept

  • Length: 9 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Nursing
  • Paper: #29442670

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Nursing Theory

The theory of nursing is built in a dynamic process that develops from practice and is normally reproduced through research, by development and analysis of concepts and theories. There is need to investigate further the phenomena seen in nurses' experience during practice in order to identify the attributes. The most effective way of enabling nurses to deeply examine some phenomena is by defining a concept of interest. This would enable the development of theories that are directly related to a clinical practice. There has been a tremendous improvement and push for the analysis and development of nursing concepts mainly because researchers have attempted to clarify problems that were previously considered as common sense. The increase has been necessitated by concepts that look obvious having vague terminologies, inconsistent theories, and ambiguous definitions.

Quality of life is a terminology that is frequently used in nursing practice and in health care. Looking into literature one will notice that the terminology is not well defined and there are numerous perceptions as to the meaning of quality of life. The perceptions will most often vary based on a case by case scenario. Nurses work on improving the quality of life for a patient by disease prevention, disease management, and health promotion. There are numerous issues faced by nurses regarding quality of life, especially when dealing with health care advances that are aimed at increasing the lifespan of a patient (Xu, Kane, & Shamliyan, 2013). It is the goal of nurses to improve the quality of their patients' lives, but the term is vague, and there is no enough clarity how a nurse should accomplish this task. Treatment goals and decision should be based on their effect on the patient's life, and differences on the understanding of the terminology may result in different treatment choices, goals, and outcomes (Mishra, Scherer, Snyder, Geigle, & Gotay, 2014).

It is quite difficult for nurses to make decisions based on improving their patients' quality of life is they do not know what that means. This concept analysis aims at bringing clarity to the meaning by examining various methods that quality of life is used in health care. Making a clarification would enable those involved in health care to communicate well with each other, patients, and loved ones in regards to quality of life. Treatment decisions and care goals that are related to quality of life improvement would also be clarified. Looking into literature that discuss quality of life will be the best method for accomplishing this task. From the definitions obtained from the literature, some critical attributes of the terminology would be determined, and example cases developed using the attributes. There will be the determination of antecedents and consequences that will be followed by the operational definition of the terminology. Some empirical referents will be identified and described.

Definition of Quality of Life

The Collins online dictionary defines quality of life as the extent to which a person's life is satisfying and comfortable. Another definition given for quality of life is the general well-being of a society or person that is defined in terms of health rather than wealth. Quality of life is a measure of the optimum force or energy that empowers an individual with the power to successfully cope with all the challenges they might encounter in the real world. This is the definition provided by Mosby's Medical, Nursing, & allied Health Dictionary.

A philosophical and ethical perspective definition for quality of life implies that it is the interaction between the individual...
...Quality of life from a religious perspective implies that it is the spiritual wellbeing, religious issues, feelings of hope, spirituality, personal beliefs, and inner peace (Nikmat, Hawthorne, & Al-Mashoor, 2015). The World Health Organization has defined quality of life since 1970. The definition given is that quality of life is the individual's perception of their position in life within the context of culture and the value systems they live in relation to their personal beliefs, goals, expectations, standards, social relationships, and concerns. According to Mishra et al. (2014) quality of life is a multidimensional concept that covers multiple life dimensions like housing conditions, employment, education, work life balance, public services, and access to institutions and their interplay. In nursing quality of life refers to the patient's ability to enjoy their normal life activities. It is a vital consideration in medical care and medical treatments. There are some medical decisions that can greatly interfere with the patient's quality of life, and they do not offer any benefit, whereas there are other treatments that would enhance the patient's quality of life. In nursing, it is vital to find the correct balance and ensure that the patient's quality of life is well maintained at all times.

Literature Review

Quality of life a concept by itself has been analyzed by numerous researchers based in different aspects of providing quality of life to patients. Researchers have been keen to establish how well to enhance quality of life for patients especially in the ICU. From all the literature available, it is clear the main aim of analyzing quality of care is to establish the best methodologies for enhancing the patient's life. Quality of life mainly concerns with the individual's functional status and their appraisal of health as it affects their own life (Shippee, Henning-Smith, Gaugler, Held, & Kane, 2017). A majority of quality of life instruments measure the functioning of the various life aspects like physical, interpersonal, and occupational. These are all things that nurses are familiar with. Therefore, it is vital for nurses to be able to determine and measure a patient's quality of life-based on their assessment of the patient. Quality of care is not only used to measure the quality of life a patient but can also be used during clinical trials (Nikmat et al., 2015). Nurses attending conferences would be curious to establish the positive and negative side effects that drugs would have on a patient. This information is beneficial for nursing practice because it allows them to support their justification of offering or prescribing certain drugs to patients. Therefore, quality of life is not just about caring and offering support to patients, but rather it is the holistic approach taken to care for patients and ensure that the drugs they take will enhance their quality of life (Lok, Lok, & Canbaz, 2017).

Measuring quality of life is not as easy a task as some might want to make other believe. Measuring quality of life has multiple dimensions, and one has to be careful to ensure that they do not measure the wrong thing. Gauging a patient's present status and determine the patient's satisfaction with the care being received, and their perception of therapy effects are some of the methodologies that can be employed to determine quality of life (Xu et al., 2013). What does constitute the measurements for quality of life? Researchers have acknowledged that measuring a patients' perspective of their disease and the treatment they are receiving can be measured to determine quality of life. However, the main challenge is that quality of life is unique to individuals, and many modes of measurement do not account for this measurement (Mjorud, Rosvik, Rokstad, Kirkevold, & Engedal, 2014). Therefore, when nurses are measuring quality of life they might actually be measuring health status variables, and this would not give the whole picture. A patient who is continuously indicating they are suffering or in more pain after taking medications would definitely have a low quality of life. Therefore, it is vital to find the correct balance and establish the appropriate treatment regimen to enhance the patient's quality of life. Nurses have a huge challenge, and they need to be able to identify the coping levels of different patients. Quality of life should not be used to deny a patient treatment. There are drugs that have instant negative side effects, but they have been known to have long-term treatment effects. These drugs, when administered to a patient, would lower their quality of life, but in time the patient would recover and resume their normal life. It has been stated that no single questionnaire is able to capture all the uniqueness of the individual patients in their reporting on quality of care. The patient is the only one who can accurately give judgment on the quality of care they have received (Mishra et al., 2014).

It is clear that determining quality of life is difficult mainly because of the different aspects that a nurse has to analyze in order to establish a patient's quality of life (Mishra et al., 2014). The care offered by nurses might be effective, but the patient might still feel they have a low quality of life that is brought about by the disease or their condition. Therefore, when attempting to establish quality of…

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References

Lok, N., Lok, S., & Canbaz, M. (2017). The effect of physical activity on depressive symptoms and quality of life among elderly nursing home residents: Randomized controlled trial. Archives of gerontology and geriatrics, 70, 92-98.

Mishra, S. I., Scherer, R. W., Snyder, C., Geigle, P., & Gotay, C. (2014). Are exercise programs effective for improving health-related quality of life among cancer survivors? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Paper presented at the Oncology nursing forum.

Mjorud, M., Rosvik, J., Rokstad, A. M. M., Kirkevold, M., & Engedal, K. (2014). Variables associated with change in quality of life among persons with dementia in nursing homes: a 10 months follow-up study. PLoS ONE, 9(12), e115248.

Nikmat, A. W., Hawthorne, G., & Al-Mashoor, S. H. (2015). The comparison of quality of life among people with mild dementia in nursing home and home care -- a preliminary report. Dementia, 14(1), 114-125.

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