The contribution of need fulfilment to quality of life: A reflection on the relation between the needs-based model of quality of life and Max Neef’s theory of Human Scale Development
The Needs-based model of quality of life has been employed in the development of a wide range of disease-specific quality of life measures over the last 20 years. The model argues that disease prevents need fulfilment and that effective interventions enable individuals to satisfy more of their fundamental human needs. Rather than adopting an existing theoretical framework, the needs-based model developed through grounded theory techniques. Several theories of needs have been advanced during the last 70 years, many of which are well known. This article relates the needs-based model of quality of life to the major published theories of human needs. Several of the theories focus on the development of societies rather than individuals – dependent on the disciplines and interests of the authors; who include sociologists, economists and psychologists. Most theorists also believe that there is a hierarchy of needs. The needs theories suggest that there are varying numbers of fundamental needs, but these tend to overlap across the theories. Statistical analyses of data collected with the needs-based quality of life measures support the view that there is a single, fundamental need.