2018-9-20

A review of quality of life (QOL) assessments and indicators: Towards a ‘‘QOL-Climate’’ assessment framework

Ronald C. Estoque, Takuya Togawa, Makoto Ooba, Kei Gomi, Shogo Nakamura, Yasuaki Hijioka, and Yasuko Kameyama

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A review of quality of life (QOL) assessments and indicators: Towards a ‘‘QOL-Climate’’ assessment framework

Authors:Ronald C. Estoque, Takuya Togawa, Makoto Ooba, Kei Gomi, Shogo Nakamura, Yasuaki Hijioka, and Yasuko Kameyama

Year:2018
Journal:AMBIO, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-018-1090-3

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Keywords

Climate change; QOL; Quality of life; Social indicators; Vulnerability; Well-being

Abstract

Quality of life (QOL), although a complex and amorphous concept, is a term that warrants attention, especially in discussions on issues that touch on the impacts of climate change and variability. Based on the principles of RepOrting standards for Systematic Evidence Synthesis, we present a systematic review aimed at gaining insights into the conceptualization and methodological construct of previous studies regarding QOL and QOL-related indexes. We find that (i) QOL assessments vary in terms of conceptual foundations, dimensions, indicators, and units of analysis, (ii) social indicators are consistently used across assessments, (iii) most assessments consider indicators that pertain to the livability of the environment, and (iv) QOL can be based on objective indicators and/or subjective wellbeing, and on a composite index or unaggregated dimensions and indicators. However, we also find that QOL assessments remain poorly connected with climate-related issues, an important research gap. Our proposed ‘‘QOL-Climate’’ assessment framework, designed to capture the social-ecological impacts of climate change and variability, can potentially help fill this gap.

fig7. the qol-climate assessment framework
Fig. 7. The ‘‘QOL-Climate’’ assessment framework: a general framework for assessing quality of life, considering the social-ecological impacts of climate change and variability. Key references used in the development of this framework include IPCC’s AR5 on climate-related issues, Ostrom (2009) on the social-ecological system paradigm, Costanza et al. (2007) on the integrative definition of QOL, Elkington (1994, 1997) on the triple bottom line, www.forumforthefuture.org on the five capitals, and www.pik-potsdam.de on impact chain analysis. Also included are references reviewed for some examples of indicators, and the syntheses in this review for the overall structure of the diagram

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