Background The increased use of the quality of life (QOL) concept internationally suggests the need to evaluate its etic (universal) and emic (culture-bound) properties. This study replicated and expanded a previous cross-cultural study on QOL.
Method The three respondent groups (consumers, parents and professionals; total n = 781) were from four European countries: France, Belgium, Italy and Poland. The Cross Cultural Survey of Quality of Life Indicators was used to assess the importance and use of eight core dimensions of QOL. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) the etic properties would be demonstrated if there were similar profiles for the respondent and geographical groups, and if indicators grouped into the proposed QOL domains; and (2) the emic properties would be demonstrated if there were significant differences on scores across groups.
Results Results supported both hypotheses.
Conclusion The present study replicated the findings of a large cross-cultural study that the QOL construct has both etic and emic properties.