The Universality of Quality of Life: An Empirical Approach Using the Whoqol

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Abstract

This chapter examines first some general issues about the concept of quality of life, in particular, in relation to unidimensional versus multidimensional approaches. These issues are then examined in relation to the WHOQOL group of measures. Analyses are then summarised from a variety of datasets that have been collected with the WHOQOL measures that address the issue of universality versus cultural-specificity of aspects of quality of life. While the data provide clear support for universal aspects of quality of life, nevertheless, it is also argued that there is a need to respect the limitations of this universality.