Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 499–508

Relationship of health-related quality of life to health care utilization and mortality among older adults

  • Kelli L. Dominick
  • Frank M. Ahern
  • Carol H. Gold
  • Debra A. Heller
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF03327351

Cite this article as:
Dominick, K.L., Ahern, F.M., Gold, C.H. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2002) 14: 499. doi:10.1007/BF03327351

Abstract

Background and aims: This investigation examined the ability of a four-item Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) scale to predict short-term (30-day) and long-term (1-year) physician visits, hospitalization, and mortality among older adults. Methods: Subjects included 84065 individuals aged 65 and older who completed a mail version of the Centers for Diseases Control’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Core HRQOL Module. HRQOL dimensions represented by the module include global self-rated general health, recent physical health, recent mental health, and recent activity limitation. Results: In analysis of covariance models controlling for demographic factors and comorbidity, the number of physician visits within 30 days and 1 year differed significantly across categories of each HRQOL item. In Cox regression models controlling for the same covariates, all four HRQOL questions were significant predictors of 30-day and 1-year hospitalization and mortality. Conclusions: These results signify that all four dimensions of HRQOL represented by the BRFSS Core HRQOL Module are important predictors of both short-term and long-term adverse health events among older adults. This brief scale may be particularly useful for assessing the health of older adults in clinical settings and large-scale epidemiological studies.

Keywords

health care utilization health-related quality of life mortality self-rated health 

Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelli L. Dominick
    • 1
  • Frank M. Ahern
    • 2
  • Carol H. Gold
    • 2
  • Debra A. Heller
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Services Research and DevelopmentDurham VA Medical CenterDurham
  2. 2.Department of Biobehavioral HealthThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkPennsylvania
  3. 3.First Health Services CorporationHarrisburgUSA
  4. 4.VA Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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