, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 1169-1180

Health-related quality of life and health utility for the institutional elderly in Taiwan

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Objective: To explore the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and health utility in an institutional elderly population. Methods: Four hundred sixty-five elderly persons living in long-term care institutions in Taiwan were interviewed using Taiwan’s abbreviated version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF), rating scale (RS) and the Time-Trade-Off (TTO) utility measurement. Results: The WHOQOL-BREF showed acceptable internal consistency (α range: 0.75–0.80 across domains) and validity. The sexual activity facet had the lowest response rate. Educational level, number of chronic diseases, physical performance, and number of caregivers had significant (p < 0.05) impacts on the domain scores of the WHOQOL-BREF. Physical performance had the strongest impact on the physical domain (R 2=0.40) and accounted for significant percentages of the variance on the other three domains (R 2=0.06–0.13). The mean RS score (score 0–100) was 61.3 ± 16.2 (mean ± SD). The mean TTO utility (score 0–1) was 0.92 ± 0.22. Conclusions: Results indicate that the WHOQOL-BREF, excepting the sexual activity item, is useful for evaluating HRQOL of conscious elderly in institutions. The validity of TTO utility for studying the institutionalized elderly needs further evaluation.