Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 78, Issue 3, pp 489–529 | Cite as

Exploring the Quality of Life of People in North Eastern and Southern Thailand

  • Darunee Jongudomkarn
  • Laura Camfield
Article

Abstract

The assumption that development brings not only material prosperity but also a better overall quality of life lies at the heart of the development project. Against this, critics assert that development can undermine social cohesion and threaten cultural integrity. Rarely, however, is the impact of development on well-being rigourously analysed using empirical data. This is what the Wellbeing in Developing Countries Group at the University of Bath aims to do drawing on fieldwork carried out in four developing countries, which addresses the themes of resources, needs, agency and structure, and subjective Quality of life (QoL). The first phase of the QoL research in Thailand aimed to explore the categories and components of quality of life for people from different backgrounds and locations with the aim of developing methods for QoL assessment in the third phase of the WeD QoL research. The study presents data obtained from rural and peri-urban sites in Southern and Northeastern Thailand (two villages in Songkhla and three in Khon Kaen, Mukdaharn, and Roi-et). Participants were divided into six groups by gender and age, and were divided again by religion (Buddhist and Muslim) and wealth status in the South. Data collection was conducted between October and December 2004 using focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, and the Person Generated Index. Content analysis was used for data analysis. The use of a qualitative approach enabled the gathering of empirical data that reflects the sources of difficulty and happiness in the lives of participants. Respondents identified 26 aspects to their quality of life, including family relations, health and longevity, income and having money, jobs, housing, education, debt, and so on. The results reveal clear similarities and differences in the role of traditions, religious beliefs, and values in the lives of people living in remote rural or peri-urban areas in Northeastern and Southern Thailand. These results, together with the findings from Peru, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh, will inform the rest of the WeD research and be used to develop measures to assess the quality of life of people living in developing countries.

Keywords

developing countries Person Generated Index poverty alleviation qualitative methods quality of life assessment Thailand well-being 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson K.L. (1999). Conceptualization and measurement of QoL as an outcome variable for health care intervention and research. Journal of Advanced Nursing 29: 298–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ayawut, D. and A. Phitakham: 2004, Quality of Life of People in Northeastern Thailand. Unpublished manuscriptGoogle Scholar
  3. BBC. Religious & Ethics: Islam. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/ index.shtml. Accessed: December, 2004
  4. Camfield, L. Conducting Research into QoL in Thailand. WeD Presentation At Khon Kaen Thailand, October 2004Google Scholar
  5. Dalai Lama H.H. and Cutler H.C. (1999). The Art of Happiness. Loronet Hodder & Stoughton, Great BritainGoogle Scholar
  6. Delhey, J.: 2004, Life Satisfaction in an Enlarged Europe (Office for Official Publications of the European Communties, Luxembourg)Google Scholar
  7. Doyal L. and Gough I. (1991). A Theory of Human Need. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  8. Field P.A. and Morse J.M. (1985). Nursing Research: the Application of Qualitative Approach. Chapman & Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Fielding N. (1993). Ethnography. In: Gilbert, N. (eds) Researching Social Life, pp. SAGE Publications, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  10. Graham C. and Sukhtankar A. (2004). Does economic crisis reduce support for markets and democracy in Latin America? Some evidence from surveys of public opinion and wellbeing. Journal of Latin American Studies 36: 349–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. His Majesty King Rama IX. New Paradigm. http://www.swu.ac.th/royal/book4/b4c1.html. Accessed: December, 2004
  12. Katschnig H. (1997). How useful is the concept of QoL in psychiatry?. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 10: 337–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lincoln Y.S. and Guba E.G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Sage, Beverley HillsGoogle Scholar
  14. Macduff C. (2000). Respondent-generated QoL measures: Useful tools for nursing or more fool’s gold?. Journal of Advanced Nursing 32: 375–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. (1986). Basic Needs and Development. War Veteran Welfare Press, Bangkok. (in Thai).Google Scholar
  16. National Economic and Social Development Plan, 2002–2006: 2002 (Office of the Prime Minister, Bangkok)Google Scholar
  17. National Economic and Social Development Board. http://www.nesdb.go.th. (Accessed: December, 2004)
  18. Pongsapitch, A.: 2000, ‘QoL of Thai People’, in Proceedings in Nursing, Conference on QoL Research (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok) (in Thai)Google Scholar
  19. Pongsapitch A. (2000). Wellbeing Measurement Tool Development of Thai People. Social Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University and The Thailand Research Fund, Bangkok. (in Thai).Google Scholar
  20. (2004). Report of Alcohol Consumption in 2004. Ministry of Public Health Thailand, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  21. (2000). Wellbeing Measurement Tool Development of Thai People and Thai Society. The Thailand Research Fund, Bangkok. (in Thai)Google Scholar
  22. Ruta D.A., Garratt A.M. and Leng M. (1994). A new approach to the measurement of QoL: The Patient-Generated Index (PGI). Med Care 32: 1109–1126Google Scholar
  23. Ryan R.M. and Deci E. (2001). Self-determination theory and the facilitation on intrinsic motivation social development and well-being. American Psychologist 55: 68–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Skevington, S.M.: 2003, QoL in Poverty: From Health-related Quality of Life. Bath, UK: Well-being in Developing Countries Research Group and WHO Centre for the Study of Quality of LifeGoogle Scholar
  25. Thairath Daily News: December, 13; 2004, 55 (17128): 1 (in Thai)Google Scholar
  26. Thamrongwarangune A. (2000). Wellbeing Measurement Tool Development of Thai People. The Thailand Research Fund, Bangkok. (in Thai).Google Scholar
  27. (1991). World Health Statistics Annual Report. WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wellbeing in Developing Countries, ESRC Research Group (WeD)University of BathBathUK

Personalised recommendations