Quality of Life Measures in the Elderly and Later Life

  • S. Evans
Reference work entry


 Quality of life (QOL) is a long established concept that has proliferated across professional and academic disciplines, and is applied extensively in clinical research and practice around the world, in many fields of healthcare. The term is associated with a wide range of theoretical models, approaches to measurement and measures, which in healthcare alone encompass generic, health-related and disease-specific models. This diversity contributes to a huge literature on the subject, which can be difficult to find one’s way around, especially for the uninitiated. The purpose of this chapter is to review recent measures of quality of life for  older people and to highlight their applicability for clinical research and evaluation. Distinguishing between measures of  health status, functioning, HRQOL and QOL as it is generally understood, the content and psychometric properties of existing measures are considered in order that readers can make informed choices about the concepts and measures that are of relevance to them.


Life Satisfaction Life Quality Nottingham Health Profile Personal Wellbeing Index Sickness Impact Profile 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


brief screening questionnaire


Euroqol 5D


functional assessment inventory


general health questionnaire-20


geriatric quality of life questionnaire


health related quality of life


health utilities index 3


instrumental activities of daily living


life satisfaction in elderly scales


multidimensional functional assessment questionnaire


multidimensional quality of life


nottingham health profile


philadelphia geriatric center multilevel assessment


patient generated index


quality of life


quality of life profile – seniors version


Quality in later life


repertory grid technique


self evaluation of individual quality of life


self evaluation of life


short form 36


sickness impact profile




World Health Organization QOL Old


wellness index


  1. Albert SM, et al. (2001). Am J Geriat Psychiat. 9: 160–168.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews FM, Withey SB. (1976). Social Indicators of Well-Being: Americans Perceptions of Quality of Life. Plenum, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Bergland A, Wyller TB. (2006). Soc Ind Res. 77: 479–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergner M. (1989). Med Care. 27(suppl): S148–S156.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cameron E, Mathers J, Parry J. (2006). Crit Pub Health. 16: 347–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell A, Converse P, Rogers WL. (1976). The Quality of American Life: Perceptions, Evaluating and Satisfactions. Russell Sage, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Chakravarthy U. (2006). BMJ. 333( 7574): 869–870.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chan ACM, Cheng S, Chi I, Ho SSY, Phillips DR. (2004). Soc Ind Res. 69: 279–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Courtney M, Edwards H, Stephan J, O’Reilly M, Duggan C. (2003). Aus J Ageing. 22: 58–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cummins RA, Lau ALD, Stokes M. (2004). Expert Rev Pharmacoeco Out Res. 4: 413–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De Leo D, Diekstra RFW, Lonnqvist J, Trabucchi M, Cleiren MHPD, Frisoni GB, Della Buono M, Haltunen A. (1998). Behav Med. 24: 17–27.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Duffy M, Duffy JA, Kilbourne W, Giarchi G. (2005). Clin Gerontologist. 28: 17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Efklides A, Varsami M, Mitadi I, Economidis D. (2006). Soc Ind Res 76: 35–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Evans S, Gately C, Huxley P, Smith A, Banerjee S. (2005). QoL Res. 14: 1291–1300.Google Scholar
  15. Gill TM, Feinstein AR. (1994). JAMA. 272: 619–626.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hann M, Reeves D. (2008). QoL Res. 7: 413–423.Google Scholar
  17. Hawthorne G. (2006). Soc Ind Res. 77: 521–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Haywood K, Garratt A, Fitzpatrick R. (2005a). QoL Res. 14: 1651–1668.Google Scholar
  19. Haywood K, Garrett A, Fitzpatrick R. (2005b). J Eval Clin Prac. 11: 315–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Haywood KL, Garratt AM, Fitzpatrick R. (2006). Expert Rev Pharmacoeco Out Res. 6: 181–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoe J, Katona C, Livingston G, Room B. (2005). Age Ageing. 34: 130–135.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hyde M, Wiggins RD, Higgs P, Blane DB. (2003). Aging Ment Hlth. 7: 186–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ip W-, Kwan Y-, Pong GTY, Troutt MD. (1999). J Soc Serv Res. 25: 43–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kliempt P, Ruta D, McMurdo M. (2000). Revs Clin Gerontol. 10: 33–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kreitler S, Kreitler MM. (2006). Soc Ind Res. 76: 5–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ku P, Fox KR, McKenna J. (2008). Soc Ind Res. 10.1007/s11205-007-9150-2, published on-line.Google Scholar
  27. Lau ALD, Cummins RA, McPherson W. (2005). Soc Ind Res. 72: 403–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lu L, Gilmour R. (2006). Asian J Soc Psychol. 9: 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lu L, Kao S. (2002). J Soc Psychol. 142: 45–59.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Markus HR, Kitayama S. (1991). Psychol Rev. 20: 568–579.Google Scholar
  31. Michalos Alex C. (2004). Soc Ind Res. 65: 27–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mozley C, Sutcliffe C, Bagley H, Cordingley L, Challis D, Huxley P, Burns A. (2004). Towards Quality Care: Outcomes for Older People in Care Homes. Ashgate, Aldershot.Google Scholar
  33. Namjoshi MA. Buesching DP. (2001). QoL Res. 10: 105–115.Google Scholar
  34. Nilsson I, Fisher AG. (2006). Scand J Occ Ther. 13: 31–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Oliver JPJ, Huxley PJ, Bridges K, Mohammed H. (1996). Quality of Life and Mental Health Services. Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  36. Rabins PV, Black BS. (2007). Int Psychogeriat. 19: 401–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ranzijn R, Luszcz M. (2000). Int J Aging Hum Devel. 50: 263–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shek DT, Lee BM. (2007). Sci World J. 7: 1222–1229.Google Scholar
  39. Spiro A, Bosse R. (2000). Int J Aging Hum Devel. 50: 297–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stathi A, Fox KR, McKenna J. (2002). J Aging Phys Act. 10: 79–92.Google Scholar
  41. Stathi A, Fox KR. (2004). J Aging Phys Act. 12: 300.Google Scholar
  42. Streiner DL, Norman GR. (1995). Health Measurement Scales: A Practical Guide to Development and Use. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  43. Ware JE. (1997). SF-36 Health Survey. Manual and Interpretation Guide (2nd. edn). The Health Institute, New England Medical Centre, Nimrod, MA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Social Work and Social Care Research, School of Human SciencesSwansea UniversitySwanseaSwansea

Personalised recommendations