What is Quality of Life?

What is Quality of Life?

Quality of Life (QoL) is an internationally validated framework developed by Dr. Robert Schalock. QoL is represented by eight domains that provide an indication of an individual’s quality of life in three broad areas:

  • Independence
  • Social participation
  • Well-being

The eight domains are:

  • emotional well-being – contentment, self-concept, lack of stress
  • interpersonal relations – interactions, relationships, supports
  • material well-being – financial status, employment, housing
  • personal development – education, personal competence, performance
  • physical well-being – health and health care, activities of daily living, leisure
  • self-determination – autonomy / personal control, personal goals, choices
  • social inclusion – community integration and participation, roles, supports
  • rights – legal, human (respect, dignity, equality)

The QoL framework fits well with CLBC’s overall vision of good lives in welcoming communities and applies equally to all people – disability or no disability. The graphic below shows the relationship between the three factors, the eight domains and indicators for each of the domains.


Quality of Life Framework

Factor Domain Exemplary Indicators
Independence 1. Personal Development
  • Education (achievements, education status)
  • Personal competence (cognitive, social, practical)
  • Performance (success, achievement, productivity)
2. Self-Determination
  • Autonomy/personal control
  • Goals and personal values (desires, expectations)
  • Choices (opportunities, options, preferences)
Social Participation 3. Interpersonal Relationships
  • Interactions (social networks, social contacts)
  • Relationships (family, friends, peers)
  • Supports (emotional, physical, financial)
  • Recreation
4. Social Inclusion
  • Community integration and participation
  • Community roles (contributor, volunteer)
  • Social supports (support networks, services)
5. Rights
  • Human (respect, dignity, equality)
  • Legal (citizenship, access, due process)
Well-Being 6. Emotional Well-Being
  • Contentment (satisfaction, moods, enjoyment)
  • Self-concept (identity, self-worth, self-esteem)
  • Lack of stress (predictability and control)
7. Physical Well-Being
  • Health (functioning, symptoms, fitness, nutrition)
  • Activities of daily living (self-care, mobility)
  • Physical activities including recreation
8. Material Well-Being
  • Financial Status (income, benefits)
  • Employment (work status, work environment)
  • Housing (type of residence, ownership)
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