An Overview of Research on Quality of Life

Who Is Involved?

This research is conducted by CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership.

When Did It Start?

We began work on the Personal Outcome Measures® in 1991 and continue this work today.

What Is The Project?

We utilize the Personal Outcome Measures® to examine personal outcomes and organizational supports.

Why Was It Created?

These personal outcomes provided the basis for assessing personal quality of life for people and reflected a significant change in thinking about service delivery and quality.

Where Is The Impact?

CQL moved the quality focus from complying with organizational processes to learning about and supporting individual choice and preferences.

How Does It Help The Field?

When people directly describe what they want out of their life, organizations can ensure that services are actually facilitating those outcomes. Aggregate analyses can also inform best-practices.

Inside Our Research on Quality of Life

Quality of life is an important construct in the disability field, especially to examine and demonstrate the effectiveness of programs and services. Organizations can utilize the quality of life measures to improve their service provision, and direct person-centered planning. Aggregate data analysis can also inform about the impact of support on quality of life, as well as best-practices more broadly.

What is Quality of Life and Why is it Important?

Originally disability quality of life measures examined the “burden” of disabilities; these measures were used in medical contexts. However, understandings of quality of life have since shifted to be more inclusive and multidimensional, recognizing the importance of empowerment, relationships, self-determination, rights, and many others. Modern quality of life measures should examine both personal outcomes and support needs.

Personal Outcome Measures®

The Personal Outcome Measures® is a person-centered quality of life assessment tool. This multifaced and comprehensive measure examines not only personal outcomes, but also the key role organizational support can play in improving individual outcomes. Since its development in the 1990s, the Personal Outcome Measures® has been administered to tens of thousands of people with disabilities and older adults around the world.

Our Research

Organizations can utilize the Personal Outcome Measures® to facilitate the quality of life of the people they support, and to improve their service provision. In addition, at CQL we utilize Personal Outcome Measures® data to conduct analyses about quality of life of people with disabilities, including evidence best practices and quality improvement.

Quality of Life Research Examples

  • Health and safety
  • Rights
  • Relationships
  • Choices and goals
  • Employment
  • and many others!

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