Quality of life: A universal or a disability specific concept?

Asnat Bar Haim Erez, Eynat Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background.: Quality of life (QoL) is an important outcome of occupational therapy practice. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts the individual throughout their lifespan and may substantially affect QoL. Measuring QoL of people with ASD presents a challenge and a debate whether to use general versus disability-specific adapted measures. Purpose.: This paper aims to (a) revisit the construct of QoL and discuss specific dilemmas pertaining to its measurement, and (b) discuss implications to the assessment of QoL in individuals with ASD while highlighting the potential contribution of occupational therapy to the development of measures. Key Issues.: We suggest adding the domain of accessibility into QoL assessments, including, physical, sensory, social, and cognitive aspects, and to use disability-specific QoL measures. Implications.: The paper presents a call for occupational therapists to be involved in developing specific ASD disability-oriented measures that consider the unique characteristics of the disorder and environmental supports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© CAOT 2019.


  • Accessibility
  • Adults
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Measurement
  • Occupational therapy
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires/standards
  • Humans
  • Cognition
  • Occupational Therapy/methods
  • Quality of Life/psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Social Participation
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology
  • Environment
  • Health Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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