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Why quality of life should matter to occupational health researchers
  1. P D Blanc
  1. Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P D Blanc
 350 Parnassus Avenue, Suite 609, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA;

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Comment on the article by Pattani et al (see 572)

The article by Dr Pattani and colleagues in this issue of OEM takes on the very difficult and important question of quality of life in relation to working life.1 Quality of life—insofar as it relates to health status—has become a central concern to a wide range of medical investigators. Not only is quality of life a major variable to be considered in any study of the natural history of disease processes, it is also a critical outcome that must be gauged when assessing the efficacy of an intervention intended to modify that natural history.

The term “quality of life” is widely used, but often loosely applied. Health related quality of life, as a construct, is meant to capture the experience of health and disease from the viewpoint of the individual. Does the person in question perceive being in a state of health, self-graded along a spectrum from poor to excellent? Is one severely limited in performing routine physical …

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