Spirituality, religion and personal beliefs: a dimension of quality of life?

  • Kathryn A. O'Connell

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This study presents the development of a domain to assess spiritual, religious and personal (SRPB) in quality of life (QoL). This study is part of a larger, international study, but reports on the findings specific to the United Kingdom. The work presented here discusses whether SRPB is an important component of QoL, and therefore should be included in its measurement. To test this, the WHOQOL-100 (The World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment) is used as a basis to investigate this. The first part of this thesis focuses on the analysis of international data (n = 900), using Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The results of this provide rationale for the importance of SRPB as a component of QoL. The second part of this thesis reports on an international project to further develop the WHOQOL-100 to more fully assess SRPB as it pertains to QoL in the general population. An expert meeting generated concepts relevant to SRPB, and these were tested in international focus groups. The thesis then reports on the focus group interviews (n = 10) conducted in the UK, and the importance of these facets to QoL. Following this, the results are combined with international findings, to develop and international pilot instrument. International pilot testing in 17 countries is described (n = 5,600) and the selection of seven SRPB facets is presented. The data collected in from the UK (n = 281) pilot is then used to observe the psychometric properties of the instrument, and how the domain relates as a model of QoL. The psychometric properties of the domain are promising: Cronbach's alpha for facets ranged from (0.81 - 0.96), and the domain alpha was excellent at α = 0.92, and inter-item correlations were greater than r = 0.40 (p <0.01). Following this, the UK data was analysed to observe the relationship of SRPB to QoL, using structural equation modelling. While the SRPB facets are related to psychological or social well being, they appear to represent a concept that is measurable and unique from other domains. Following this, the impact of SRPB on QoL is analysed using different sub-groups. The data obtained show that while SRPB is related to QoL, the strength of this effect varies amongst different sub-groups. The results from this work have a number of implications that are presented in the final chapter.

Date of Award9 Dec 2002
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorIan Gough (Supervisor) & Suzie Skevington (Supervisor)

Cite this