Though alcoholism has been investigated for years, there are still a lot of questions to be answered (Vaillant, 2009, p. 3). “Quality of life measurement and alcoholism: Another arm to nursing practice?” (2006) is an article, which presents valuable information about the current situation in assessing the quality of life among alcohol-dependent patients and suggests future studies to be made.
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The article provides “a brief update on the measurement of quality of life” among alcohol-dependent patients and demonstrates how it could be used in nursing practice (Foster, 2006, p. e295). In the first part of the article, the author presents the generic quality of life measures, including Short-Form Thirty-Six (SF-36), Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), EuroQoL (EQ-5D), and WHOQOL, and explores their role in nursing practice. In the second part of the article, the author discusses the quality of life measures, which are relevant for alcohol-dependent individuals, and suggests future studies aimed at investigating the issue. ALQol 9 measurement is described as an effective one but is regarded as still missing some important constructs. Foster (2006) claims that quality of life assessment research in alcohol-dependent patients is still unsystematic (p. e298). As insomnia symptoms are common among alcohol-dependent individuals (Brower, Aldrich, Robinson, Zucker, & Greden, 2001, p. 399), further studies should be encouraged to cover such essential aspects, as sleep and social isolation. Recommendations for future studies include the integration of the five NHP sleep variables and the NHP social isolation sub-scale into clinical assessment, further investigation of the efficacy of the Life Situation Survey, and utilization of mood/effect measure. The author emphasizes the importance of clinicians’ involvement in presenting realistic expectations of the changes the patient can see and encouraging Alcoholic Anonymous attendance as part of a treatment package.
The article suggests the improvements of quality of life measurement that are necessary for the better performance of nursing departments. According to the article, a nurse plays an essential role in providing the appropriate assessment of the alcohol-dependent individuals’ perception of their life. More studies should be conducted to improve the existing methods of measuring the quality of life and provide nurses with the most effective techniques.
The article stresses the importance of future investigation of the current strategies for measuring the quality of life in alcohol-dependent patients for successful work of nurses aimed at encouraging the patients to see the positive changes related to giving up regular alcohol consumption.
Brower, K. J., Aldrich, M. S., Robinson, E. A. R., Zucker, R. A., & Greden, J. F. (2001). Insomnia, self-medication, and relapse to alcoholism. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(3), 399-404.
Foster, J. H. (2006). Quality of life measurement and alcoholism: Another arm to nursing practice? Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing, 9(3), e295–e301.
Vaillant, G. E. (2009). The natural history of alcoholism revisited. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
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