Jaro Křivohlavý, Postgradual Medical Institute (emeritus), Prague, Czech. Rep.
Františka Petříková, University of Trnava, Trnava, Slovak Rep.
Relations between quality of life, faith and meaningfullness of life were studied in a sample of 108 adult members of helping professions. Quality of life was studied with an adapted SEIQoL measure (which also provides data about ones satisfaction with his/her realisation of life´s aims). Intrinsic faith and meaingfullness of life were studied with special "Visual Analogous Scales" (VAS). The results provided Pearson correlations of r=.411**for faith and quality of life, r=.356** for faith and meaningfullness of life, r=. 220* for quality of life and meaningfullness of life and r= .319** for satisfaction with the realisation of life´s aims and meaningfullness of life. A positive relation between faith and age was also found (r=.272*). The following discussion develops the concept of the existence of a cluster of important life orientation and satisfaction attitudes.
quality of life, meaningfullness of life, intrinsic faith, satisfaction with the realisation of life´s aims, SEIQoL, VAS.
The issue of "quality of life" (QL) may be one of the oldest of philosophical issues. It is also one of the most central to humankind. It is possible to see in the last few decades a revival of the interest of psychologists in this issue (Robinson, J. P., Shaver, P. R.. and Wrightsman, L.S.,1991; Andrews, F.M. and Robinson , J.P. (1991); Browne, J.P., McGee, H.M., and O´Boyle, C. A. (1997) etc.
Psychologists use different terms when studying QL; general well-being, general life satisfaction, life happiness, global mental health, satisfaction with life as a whole, personal happines etc. (Andrews, F.M. and Robinson, J.P.,1991). QL is usually studied on the personal level, but there are concepts of QL taking into account its broader scope - the makro-level (QL of a state), mezo-level (QL of a small group - Engel, G.L. a Bergsma, J.,1988). The personal level of QL is the object of this study. There are, as well, other psychological constructs which attempt to denote attitudes related to QL (Campbell, A., Converse, P.E., and Rodgers, W.L., 1976). One of the tasks of this article is to develop the relation between QL and other related attitudes, namely the meaningfulnes of life and faith.
There are two different ways how to study QL. One uses special criteria to define QL. They are given either directly by the researchers or based on research into the opinions of other experts. These criteria define the norm. The QL study then looks at the differences in the given person (subject) from this norm. This is also the way that the medical community defines physiological QL (Spitzer, O.W. et al.,1981). The personal - subjective concepts of the QL of the subject studied deines the other way that QL is defined (O´Boyle, C.A., McGee, H. and Joyce, C.R.B. (1994). This subjective QL concept was used in this study.
Meaningfullness of life: As there is a growing interest in QL there is also an increasing interest in the study of the meaningfullness of life in the last decades - especially in Europe (Frankl, 1975 and 1988, Lngle, A.,1991, Lukas, 1990 etc.). It is reasonable to hypothetisize that there is a relation between QL and meaningfullness of life. We attempt to prove this relation in this study.
Faith: Faith is defined in different ways (Stríženec, 1996). One concept of faith (Remeš, 2001) shows its relation to the aim of life which gives meaning to life. Taking into account the difference between the extrinsic and intrinsic concept of faith (Stríženec, 1996) this concept of spiritual life and faith, as its landmark, brought us univocally to the intrinsic faith.
The aim of this study was to establish the interrelations between QL, meaningfulness and faith.
Subjects: A group of adults who specialize in the so-called helping professions (medical doctors, psychologists, nurses, social workers etc.) was used. There were 108 subjects.
83 women (77.4%) and 25 men (22.6%). The mean age of the women was 38.1 (16 - 75), (SD 14,24). The mean age of the men was 42.9, (23 - 75), (SD 13,72).
QL: The adapted SEIQoL method was used (Browne, J.P., McGee, H.M., and O´Boyle, C. A.,1997). The (method?) way of getting the relative value of the five domains was adapted. From the comparison of the original version (Browne, J.P., McGee, H.M., and O´Boyle, C. A.,1997) with the SEIQoL-DW version (Browne, J.P., O´ Boyle, C. A., McGee, H.M., McDonald, N. J. and Joyce, C. R. B.(1997) it was observed that with intelligent adults it is possible to let them to give and add (????) the five weights for the five domains (totaling 100%) themselves. This procedure proved to be well understood by all the individuals in the study.
Meaningfullness of life was assesed via a VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) - a 10cm long line in a 45% declination with the inscription "My life has totally no meaning" at the left bottom extreme point and "My life is totally meaningful" at the right upper extreme point. Taking into account the results of measuring attitudes with a VAS-art method (e.g. Cantrills Ladderr Scale, Eurobarometer, General well-being, Delighted-terrible scale etc.) (Robinson, J. P., Shaver, P. R.. and Wrightsman, L.S., 1991) we dared to use VAS, even knowing that it is a rather crude method but seeing that other VAS based methods have proved useful in primary research (Andrews, F.M. and Robinson , J.P., 1991).
Faith. Intrinsic faith was measured as well with the use of a VAS (Visual Analogous Scale) 10cm long line in a 45% declination with the inscription "I am too far from God" at the left bottom extreme point and "I am close to God" at the right upper extreme point. The same problems, as with measuring the meaingfulness of life, had to be answered when VAS was used for undimensional measuring intrinsic faith.
Satisfacton with the realisation of life´s aims was measured as the mean level of satisfaction with all five domains in SEIQoL.
I. Facts found
Mean QL level in the group of women (N=79): M= 60,49 (SD= 15,44).
Mean QL level in the group of men (N=23): M=60,91 (SD = 17,96).
b.) Meaningfullnes of life
Mean VAS level in the group of women (N=82): M = 54,04.
Mean VAS level in the group of men (N = 25): M = 53,86.
Mean VAS level for the group of women (N=82): M=68,50 (SD= 18,67).
Mean VAS level for the group of men (N = 25): M= 68,76 (SD=19,58).
Differences between the two groups were insignificant in all three measures
(pa = 0,21, pb = 098, pc = 0,93).
II. Relations between variables found:
A. QL and faith
Na = 102 and Nb= 107.
Pearson r = .411 ** This correlation is statistically. significant at the 0.01 level.
B. Meaningfullness and faith
Na= 106 and Nb= 107
Pearson r= .356 ** This correlation ist statistically sigificant at the 0.01 level.
C. QL and Meaningfullness of life
Na= 102 and Nb= 107
Pearson r = .220* This correlation is statistically significant at the 0.26 level.
III. Satisfacton with the realisation of life´s aims and meaningfullness of life
Na = 102 and Nb = 107
Pearson correlation r= .319 ** This correlation is statistically significant at the 0.001 level.
IV. Relations of the variables to the age
Pearson correlation for faith and age
N = 107
Pearson correlation r = .272 * This correlation is statistically signficant at the 0.24 level.
Relations between other variables to age were not statatistically significant.
The results show that there are statatistically significant correlations between the variables studied. They are not independent and may be that they show to a cluster of important variables. It is not possible to come to a causal conclusion from the correlational data given. I.E., it is not possible to say whether e.g. faith adds something to the quality of life of vice versa. The same is true as well for meaningfullness of life.
Other research has found that there are relations of e.g.(????) QL defined as a well-ness (meaured by the use of Index of Well-Being) and number of friends, family, family income, intelligence, health and religious faith (Campbell, A., Converese, P.E. and Rogers, W.L, 1976). There are other research results showing e.g. the relation between faith and physical health state (Strauss, A.L., 1975, Calman, K.C.,1984) and psychological health (Křivohlavý, 2001a and 2001b). It is possible that we are not too far from the Viktor E. Frankl´s vision relating meaningfullness of life to health.
There is a problem in the present study with the simple and crude VAS method used for measuring meaningfullness and faith. More complicated methods could be used e.g. for measuring the intrisic faith (see the review of the e.g. in Stříženec, 1996). When signitificant correlations are found with crude tools (e.g- VAS) there is hope that, with more sophisticated methods, a higher level of correlation might be found.
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