Quality of Life and Health-Related Quality of Life over 1 Year in Older Women: Monitoring Stability and Reliability of Measurement

Abstract

Assessing quality of life (QOL) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in older adults is important. Yet, limited research is available on the stability of these constructs and the psychometric properties of QOL [e.g., Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS)] and HRQOL [e.g., Short-Form 12 Health Survey (SF-12)] measures in this population. Such knowledge is important for designing and interpreting interventions. We examined stability of QOL (SWLS) and HRQOL (SF-12) and their test–retest reliability, measurement error, and interpretability over 1 year in older Black and White women (n = 230). Stability and reliability were ascertained through paired sample t tests and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Standard error of measurement and coefficient of variation assessed measurement error. Smallest detectable change estimated score interpretability. QOL and HRQOL remained stable; ICC values indicated moderate reliability for the SWLS and SF-12 (SWLS = 0.73, SF-12 Physical Composite Summary = 0.69, SF-12 Mental Composite Summary = 0.58). Measurement error and interpretability estimates were similar for both the SWLS and SF-12. Interpretability estimates indicated a change in score of around 33 % may represent an important change. We provide novel data for selecting and interpreting QOL and HRQOL measures contributing to a better understanding of intervention efficacy.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Abbreviations

QOL:

Quality of life

HRQOL:

Health-related quality of life

SWLS:

Satisfaction with Life Scale

SF-12:

Short-Form 12 Health Survey

PCS:

Physical Composite Summary

MCS:

Mental Composite Summary

ICC:

Intraclass correlation coefficient

SEM:

Standard error of measurement

CV:

Coefficient of variation

SDC:

Smallest detectable change

References

  1. Altman, D. G., & Bland, J. M. (2011). Brackets (parentheses) in formulas. British Medical Journal, 343, d570.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Atkinson, G., & Nevill, A. M. (1998). Statistical methods for assessing measurement error (reliability) in variables relevant to sports medicine. Sports Medicine (Auckland, New Zealand), 26(4), 217–238.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Beckerman, H., Roebroeck, M. E., Lankhorst, G. J., Becher, J. G., Bezemer, P. D., & Verbeek, A. L. M. (2001). Smallest real difference, a link between reproducibility and responsiveness. Quality of Life Research, 10(7), 571–578.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Blais, M. R., Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., & Brière, N. M. (1989). L’échelle de satisfaction de vie: Validation canadienne-française du “Satisfaction with Life Scale [The satisfaction scale: Canadian-French validation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale.]. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue Canadienne Des Sciences Du Comportement, 21(2), 210–223. doi:10.1037/h0079854.

  5. Browne, J. P., O’Boyle, C. A., McGee, H. M., Joyce, C. R. B., McDonald, N. J., O’Malley, K., et al. (1994). Individual quality of life in the healthy elderly. Quality of Life Research, 3(4), 235–244.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. De Vet, H., Terwee, C. B., Mokkink, L. B., & Knol, D. L. (2011). Measurement in medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Denegar, C. R., & Ball, D. W. (1993). Assessing reliability and precision of measurement: An introduction to intraclass correlation and standard error of measurement. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 2(1), 35–42.

    Google Scholar 

  8. DeVellis, R. F. (1991). Scale development: Theory and applications (Vol. 26). London: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Diener, E. D., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa4901_13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Food and Drug Administration. (2009). Drug Administration: Guidance for industry: Patient-reported outcome measures—Use in medical product development to support labeling claims. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 235(74), 65132–65133.

  11. Fowles, G., & Greenberg, S. (2011). A profile of older Americans: 2011. Administration on Aging: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  12. Hopman, W. M., Berger, C., Joseph, L., Towheed, T., VandenKerkhof, E., Anastassiades, T., et al. (2006). The natural progression of health-related quality of life: Results of a five-year prospective study of SF-36 scores in a normative population. Quality of Life Research, 15(3), 527–536.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Lopez, A. D., Mathers, C. D., Ezzati, M., Jamison, D. T., & Murray, C. J. (Eds.). (2006). Global burden of disease and risk factors. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  14. McAuley, E., Doerksen, S. E., Morris, K. S., Motl, R. W., Hu, L., Wojcicki, T. R., et al. (2008). Pathways from physical activity to quality of life in older women. Annals of Behavioral Medicine: A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 36(1), 13–20. doi:10.1007/s12160-008-9036-9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. McAuley, E., Konopack, J. F., Motl, R. W., Rosengren, K., & Morris, K. S. (2005). Measuring disability and function in older women: Psychometric properties of the late-life function and disability instrument. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 60(7), 901–909.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. McAuley, E., Morris, K. S., Doerksen, S. E., Motl, R. W., Liang, H., White, S. M., et al. (2007a). Effects of change in physical activity on physical function limitations in older women: Mediating roles of physical function performance and self-efficacy. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 55(12), 1967–1973.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. McAuley, E., Morris, K. S., Motl, R. W., Hu, L., Konopack, J. F., & Elavsky, S. (2007b). Long-term follow-up of physical activity behavior in older adults. Health Psychology, 26(3), 375.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. McHorney, C. A., Ware, J. E., & Raczek, A. E. (1993). The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): II. Psychometric and clinical tests of validity in measuring physical and mental health constructs. Medical Care, 31(3), 247–263. doi:10.2307/3765819.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Motl, R. W., McAuley, E., & Klaren, R. (2014). Reliability of physical activity measures over six months in adults with multiple sclerosis: Implications for designing behavioral interventions. Behavioral Medicine, 40(1), 29–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. National Center for Health Statistics (US). (2013). Health, United States, 2012: With special feature on emergency care. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics (US).

  21. Norman, G. R., Sloan, J. A., & Wyrwich, K. W. (2004). The truly remarkable universality of half a standard deviation: Confirmation through another look. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research, 4(5), 581–585. doi:10.1586/14737167.4.5.581.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Paltamaa, J., West, H., Sarasoja, T., Wikström, J., & Mälkiä, E. (2005). Reliability of physical functioning measures in ambulatory subjects with MS. Physiotherapy Research International, 10(2), 93–109.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 2. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-2354-4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Pavot, W., Diener, E., Colvin, C. R., & Sandvik, E. (1991). Further Validation of the Satisfaction with Life Scale: Evidence for the cross-method convergence of well-being measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 57(1), 149–161. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa5701_17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Pereira, C. C. A., Palta, M., Mullahy, J., & Fryback, D. G. (2011). Race and preference-based health-related quality of life measures in the United States. Quality of Life Research: An International Journal of Quality of Life Aspects of Treatment, Care and Rehabilitation, 20(6), 969–978. doi:10.1007/s11136-010-9813-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Pfeiffer, E. (1975). A short portable mental status questionnaire for the assessment of organic brain deficit in elderly patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 23(10), 433.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Population Reference Bureau. (2013). The health and life expectancy of older Blacks and Hispanics in the United States. Population Reference Bureau.

  28. Resnick, B., & Nahm, E. S. (2001). Reliability and validity testing of the revised 12-item Short-Form Health Survey in older adults. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 9(2), 151–161.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Revicki, D., Hays, R. D., Cella, D., & Sloan, J. (2008). Recommended methods for determining responsiveness and minimally important differences for patient-reported outcomes. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 61(2), 102–109. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2007.03.012.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Stewart, A. L., & King, A. C. (1991). Evaluating the efficacy of physical activity for influencing quality-of-life outcomes in older adults. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 13(3), 108–116.

  31. Streiner, D. L., & Norman, G. R. (2008). Health measurement scales: A practical guide to their development and use. London: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Ware, J. E., Jr, Kosinski, M., & Keller, S. D. (1996). A 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey: Construction of scales and preliminary tests of reliability and validity. Medical Care, 34(3), 220–233.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Ware, J. E., & Sherbourne, C. D. (1992). The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Medical Care, 30(6), 473–483. doi:10.2307/3765916.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Wyrwich, K. W., Norquist, J. M., Lenderking, W. R., & Acaster, S. (2013). Methods for interpreting change over time in patient-reported outcome measures. Quality of Life Research, 22(3), 475–483. doi:10.1007/s11136-012-0175-x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This research was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG020118). The authors wish to thank all participants in this research and all staff and students involved in data collection and analysis.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yvonne C. Learmonth.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Learmonth, Y.C., Alwick, E.A., McAuley, E. et al. Quality of Life and Health-Related Quality of Life over 1 Year in Older Women: Monitoring Stability and Reliability of Measurement. Soc Indic Res 123, 267–279 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0729-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Clinical research
  • Gerontology
  • Measurement