Quality of life and well-being: Lit review

Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow,
01 March 2006, United Kingdom

Objectives: To define “quality of life” in the context of culture, arts and sport and explore ways in which the impact on quality of life and sense of well-being through participation in cultural or sport interventions can be identified and measured, both in social and economic terms. Key Findings: The literature review found that a standard cross-disciplinary definition of either QOL or well-being does not exist. The review highlighted the scarcity of empirical research in this area. The largely experimental work that exists has not yet produced evidence of a causal link and experts consider the actual process to be more complex than this. Most individual level studies have defined QOL as subjectively perceived well-being, ie self-reported life satisfaction; and have found that cultural participation has either a very small effect, or no effect on this. Cultural indicators of QOL have tended to focus on the social capital and community building domain or to view levels of cultural activity as an indicator of good QOL in itself. Future research needs to be conceptually clear, consider the variable quality of culture and sports programmes as a factor affecting outcomes, and develop more rigorous methods for collecting self-report data from participants. To view the publication, CLICK HERE.