Quality of life and risk conceptions in UK healthcare regulation: towards a critical analysis.
CARR Discussion Papers,
Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
The paper outlines a way of gaining fresh perspectives on the functions of ‘quality of life’ (QOL) conceptions in the health sector. The first objective is to spotlight a seldom considered issue. The paper describes different uses of the QOL concept and different links between the categories of QOL and risk in the works of three UK health regulators: NICE, the CQC, and the GMC. It is suggested that closer investigations of the diversity of applications of QOL and associated risk conceptions in health regulation can throw new light on their role in contemporary health systems. The second objective is to provide signposts for critical examinations of this issue. The paper draws attention to three contextual factors – knowledge selection, value dimensions, and decisions on participation – which seem to shape, and may therefore elucidate, health regulators’ various operationalisations of QOL conceptions and connections between QOL and risk ideas.
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