Recently one of my clients told me their health was good. I’d just done a 45 minute health assessment with them.
They couldn’t walk to the shops (600m from home) – so short of breath because of heart failure; they had some kidney damage caused by diabetes and high blood pressure; they had fallen 3 times in the past 12 months, due to peripheral neuropathy.
So, what makes a person like this, one we might think has health far from ‘good’, consider themselves to be in good health?
This self assessment intrigued me. I asked if we explore this ‘good health’.
The positives in their life included a loving partner 10 years younger able to do many things as a carer for my client; 3 small grandchildren that stayed in the house twice a week providing a happy family environment for storytelling and games of cards; a trip to the local club once a week for a meet up with long term friends of over 30 years.
Sometimes we – health professionals – are blinded by our role: assess health as we see it. The problems that need to be treated rather than assessing a person as a whole bio-psycho-socio-sprirtual being. Sometimes we focus so much on the negatives, we forget to ask ‘whats good in your life?’ or ‘how do YOU rate your health at present?’.
Finding the positives (but not ignoring the negatives), seeing the whole person, is something to do with quality of life.
Definitions for Quality of life**
Table 1 shows the dimensions of the quality of life, as defined in the SF-36 survey/tool.
|Table 1: Dimensions of quality of life in the SF-36|
|Dimension||Definition of lowest score (poor quality of life)||Definition of highest score (good quality of life)|
|Physical functioning||Very limited in performing all physical activities, including bathing or dressing||Performs all types of physical activities including the most vigorous, without limitations due to health|
|Role physical||Problems with work or other daily activities as a result of physical health||No problems with work or other daily activities|
|Bodily pain||Very severe and extremely limiting pain||No pain or limitations because of pain|
|General health||Evaluates personal health as poor and believes it is likely to get worse||Evaluates personal health as excellent|
|Vitality||Feels tired and worn out all of the time||Feels full of pep and energy all of the time|
|Social functioning||Extreme and frequent interference with normal social activities because of physical and emotional problems||Performs normal social activities without interference because of physical or emotional problems|
|Role emotional||Problems with work or other daily activities as a result of emotional problems||No problems with work or other daily activities|
|Mental health||Feelings of nervousness and depression all of the time||Feels peaceful, happy, and calm all of the time|
How do you rate your health today? What makes an impact on your quality of life?
Maybe consider that ext time you visit your health care provider, as to complete a Quality of Life Assessment.
🙂 And enjoy life by having a focus on the positives 🙂