Test for Measuring Quality of Life
"People on the Go",
a consumer advocacy group for individuals with mental retardation, has developed
a list of questions that they call the litmus test for measuring the quality of
life. These questions can provide a valuable framework for the nurse working with
adults with Down syndrome. The following questions may be useful to anticipate patient concerns that may arise whenever new community services,
options, or resources are presented to the adult:
- Did you ask me?
- Can I change my mind?
- Can I say no
and still receive services?
- Will I be safe?
- Is my health protected?
- Do I have privacy?
- Are my rights, dignity,
and individuality respected?
- Am I spending time the
way I choose and with the people I choose?
- Can you give me what
- Will you help me learn
how to be a part of the community?
- Are you providing me
the opportunities that support my choices?
- Does the service make
- Can I get the service
if I move?
- Would I want it?
- Does the service increase
- Does the service help
me look good to others? (Kiernan, 1995, p. 285)
Before offering a service or other resource to the adult
with Down syndrome, the nurse should consider the questions in the litmus test
for quality of life.