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Quality of life

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The term "quality of life" is commonly used to refer to one's personal experience of happiness, freedom from pain, stress, and worry, etc.

In this sense, "quality of life" is a subjective feeling not absolutely tied to material possessions or objective experiences -- one person might be very happy living in a small apartment and not owning a car, while another who owns several luxurious homes and a yacht might be desperately unhappy.

However, since some correlation between objective consumption and subjective happiness is frequently observed in practice, researchers sometimes use the term "quality of life" to refer to objective measures of diet, housing, health, etc. In this sense it is close to the more objective economic measure standard of living.

Health workers also compare patients' quality of life under different circumstances - for example with one treatment a patient might expect many years of additional life, but with reduced mobility and high levels of pain, while another treatment might offer a much shorter life expectancy, but with excellent mobility and little pain.


See also