© 2012


Its Definition and Measurement As Applied to the Medically Ill


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Defining and Assessing Quality and Quality-of-Life

  3. Issues in Assessing Quality or Quality-of-Life

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 85-89
    2. Ivan Barofsky
      Pages 121-158
    3. Back Matter
      Pages 193-195
  4. The Content of a HRQOL Assessment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 197-198
    2. Ivan Barofsky
      Pages 199-246
    3. Ivan Barofsky
      Pages 247-291
    4. Ivan Barofsky
      Pages 293-338
    5. Ivan Barofsky
      Pages 339-392
  5. Summary and Future Directions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 451-451
    2. Ivan Barofsky
      Pages 453-483
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 485-496

About this book


Quality, as exemplified by Quality-of-life (QoL) assessment, is frequently discussed among health care professionals and often invoked as a goal for improvement, but somehow rarely defined, even as it is regularly assessed. It is understood that some medical patients have a better QoL than others, but should the QoL achieved be compared to an ideal state, or is it too personal and subjective to gauge? Can a better understanding of the concept help health care systems deliver services more effectively? Is QoL worth measuring at all? Integrating concepts from psychology, philosophy, neurocognition, and linguistics, this book  attempts to answer these complex questions.


It also breaks down the cognitive-linguistic components that comprise the judgment of quality, including description, evaluation, and valuations, and applies them to issues specific to individuals with chronic medical illness. In this context, quality/QoL assessment becomes an essential contributor to ethical practice, a critical step towards improving the nature of social interactions. The author considers linear, non-linear, and complexity-based models in analyzing key methodology and content issues in health-related QoL assessment, including:


  • Objective versus subjective indicators.
  • Signs and symptoms, e.g., pain and fatigue.
  • Categories and domains.
  • Health status and quality of care.
  • Functional status.
  • Neurocognitive capacity/degeneration.
  • Well-being and emotional regulation.
  • Determinants of Valuation.
  • The role of Fundamental Measurement.


This book is certain to stimulate debate in the research and scientific communities. Its forward-looking perspective takes great strides toward promoting a common cognitive-linguistic model of how the judgment of quality occurs, thereby contributing important conceptual and empirical tools to its varied applications, including QoL assessment.


HRQOL QoL bioethics cognition health status indicators neural networks quality assessment quality of life

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Quality of Life InstituteEast SandwichUSA

About the authors

Ivan Barofsky is a former President of the International Society of Quality of Research. He is a retired Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Bibliographic information