The aim of this encyclopedia is to provide a comprehensive reference work on scientific and other scholarly research on the quality of life, including health-related quality of life research or also called patient-reported outcomes research.
Since the 1960s two overlapping but fairly distinct research communities and traditions have developed concerning ideas about the quality of life, individually and collectively, one with a fairly narrow focus on health-related issues and one with a quite broad focus. In many ways, the central issues of these fields have roots extending to the observations and speculations of ancient philosophers, creating a continuous exploration by diverse explorers in diverse historic and cultural circumstances over several centuries of the qualities of human existence. What we have not had so far is a single, multidimensional reference work connecting the most salient and important contributions to the relevant fields.
Entries are organized alphabetically and cover basic concepts, relatively well established facts, lawlike and causal relations, theories, methods, standardized tests, biographic entries on significant figures, organizational profiles, indicators and indexes of qualities of individuals and of communities of diverse sizes, including rural areas, towns, cities, counties, provinces, states, regions, countries and groups of countries.