`Many books have been published on quality of life research in recent years, but few are as thought provoking or original as this one. It is essential reading for anyone who a serious and critical interest in this topic' - Nurse Researcher. `This was a fun book to read and I would suggest it be used for a graduate level seminar - where, of course, it would lead to a lively discussion' -. Quality of Life Research. `Quality of life' is one of the fastest growing areas of research and policy. The concept has an intuitive appeal as a measure of the well-being of individuals, communities and nations. It is increasingly promoted as an aid for political decisions and public funding. But what does the concept really mean? And how can it be operationalized in teaching and research? This is the first introductory text to offer a critical overview of the concept of quality of life and the ways in which it is researched. Using an inter-disciplinary approach, the book covers every aspect of the concept and its application - from the calculation of Quality-Adjusted Life Years to conversation analysis, and from the estimation of the quality of life of nation states to ethnographic studies of the life quality of individual disadvantaged people. The book fills a huge gap in teaching and research. Written with authority, and the need to produce an accessible critical introduction to the field, it will be of interest to students of sociology, psychology, public health and nursing, health economics, politics and medicine.