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WHOQOL-BREF to Measure Satisfaction with Life Overall and Satisfaction with Specific Life Domains: A Comparison of Male and Female Undergraduate Students

Mehrdad Mazaheri 

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Department of  Psychology, University of Sistan & Baluchestan, Iran

Keywords: WHOQOL-BREF, overall life satisfaction, general health, physical health, psychological well-being,

social relationships, environmental support



A sample of 1000 students, (Male = 490 and Female = 510) completed the Iranian version of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire consisting of four domains: physical health (seven items), psychological well-being (six items), social relationships (three items), and environmental support (eight items); and two overall QOL and general health items. The score mean of overall QOL, general health, and all four measured domains obtained from female sample were found higher than the score mean of the same measured variables in the male sample. However, the results of independent t-test comparing the mean score indicated only significant differences between male and female students for following variables; overall QOL, general health, social relationships, and environmental support. On the whole, our results indicated that, the Iranian version of WHOQOL-BREF was deemed to be reliable in assessing the quality of life of a student population in Iran.



Over the last decades, QOL became a popular construct on academic and political agendas in many advanced industrial nations.  The quantity of research on the health-related QOL construct has been exponential since the 1980s, and in the social sciences e.g. the World Database of Happiness, an ongoing collection of these studies is available online (Veenhoven, 2008). It was not until 1976 that the concept of QOL was included as a keyword in the Index Medicos, initially under the subheading "Philosophy." Since the early 1970s, the concept has become increasingly popular, and numerous studies have been published on QOL in different areas of medicine (Figure 1).


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