Central European Journal of Medicine

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 476–482 | Cite as

Quality of life in Lithuanian population: the impact of country residence and socio-economic status

  • Regina Rėklaitienė
  • Miglė Bacevičienė
  • K. Andrijauskas
Research Article


Quality of life (QoL) and individual perception of health has become a subject of great interest in Lithuania. The relationships between country residence, socio-economic status (SES), and QoL have not been well characterized among the Lithuanian urban and rural populations. The aim of the study was to assess the influence of country residence and SES on QoL in Lithuanian urban and rural population adjusting for the influence of other known determinants of QoL. The study population was randomly selected from 1193 urban and 264 rural men and women aged 45–72 years and have been filled in the self-administered the WHOQOL-100 questionnaire. The survey participation rate was 62.8%. Psychometric evaluation of the WHOQOL-100 showed good internal reliability of Cronbach’s α from 0.78 to 0.94. Multiple linear regression models were used to study the influence of country residence and SES on the WHOQOL-100 scores while adjusting for the influence of other determinants of QoL. After adjusting for the influence of these factors, country residence and SES independently influenced QoL. Rural residence negatively affected the overall QoL, psychological domain, level of independence and spirituality. Higher education level and income directly and positively influenced the WHOQOL-100 scores, while retired, unemployed and residents with chronic medical conditions had negative influence WHOQOL-100 scores. The study results conclude that country residence and SES are associated with differences in QoL among urban and rural Lithuanian population.


Quality of life Urban and rural residence Socio-economic status 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    WHOQOL user manual: facet definitions and response scales, Annex IX. Geneva: WHO; 1998Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Weeks WB, Kazis LE, Shen Y, Cong Z., Ren X.S., Miller D., et al., Differences in Health-Related Quality of Life in Rural and Urban Veterans, Am. J. Public Health, 2004, 94(10), 1762–1767PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Cleary K.K., Howel D.M., Using the SF-36 to determine perceived health-related quality of life in rural Idaho seniors, J. Allied Health, 2006, 35(3), 156–161PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Sabbah I., Drouby N., Sabbah S., Retel-Rude N., Mercier M., Quality of Life in rural and urban populations in Lebanon using SF-36 Health Survey, Health Qual. Life Outcomes, 2003, 1(1), 30–38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    Liu L.J., Guo Q., Loneliness and health-related quality of life for the empty nest elderly in the rural area of a mountainous county in China, Qual. Life Res., 2007, 16(8), 1275–1280PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Domarkienė S., Tamošiūnas A., Rėklaitienė R., Šidlauskienė D., Jurėnienė K., Margevičienė L., et al., Trends in main cardiovascular risk factors among middle-aged Kaunas population between 1983–2002, Medicina, 2003, 39(12), 1193–1195PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Mc Michael A., The urban environment and health in a word of increasing globalisation: issues for developing countries, Bull.WHO, 2000, 78, 1117–1126Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Kalėdienė R., Petrauskienė J., Stankuvienė S., Inequalities in mortality from external causes in Lithuania: The role of urbanisation, Urbanisation and Health, 2005, 251–257Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Barker D.J.P., Lackland D.T., Prenatal influences on stroke mortality in England and Wales, Stroke, 2003, 34, 1598–1603PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Amiri M., Kunst A.E., Jansen F., Makenbach J.P, Cohort-specific trends in stroke mortality in seven European countries were related to infant mortality rates, J. Clin. Epidemiol., 2006, 59, 1295–1302PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Geyer S., Peter R., Income, occupational position, qualification and health inequalities-competing risks? J. Epidemiol. Community Health, 2000, 54, 299–3055PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Elstad J., Social inequalities in health and their explanations, Norwegian Social Research NOVA Rapport 9/00 (NOVA, Oslo)Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Kazlauskaitė M., Rėklaitienė R., Assessment of quality of life in the middle-aged Kaunas population, Medicina, 2005, 41(2), 155–161PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Rėklaitienė R., Andrijauskas K., Bacevičienė M., Assessment of the quality of life among Lithuanian rural community, Acta medica Lituanica, 2008, 15(3), 156–162Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Bacevičienė M., Rėklaitienė R., The Impact of the Socio-economic Factors on the Quality of Life in Middle-aged Lithuanian Population, Wroclaw University of Economics, Wroclaw, 2006, 272–280Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Bobak M., Pikhart H., Hertzman C., Rose R., Marmot M., Socioeconomic factors, perceived control and self-reported health in Russia, A cross-sectional survey, Soc. Sci. Med., 1998, 47(2), 269–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    Pikhart H., Bobak M., Siegrist J., Pajak A., Rywik S., Kyshegyi J et al., Psychosocial work characteristics and self-rated health in four post communist countries, Epidemiol. Community Health, 2001, 55(9), 624–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    Gilmore AB., McKee M., Rose R., Determinants of and inequalities in self-perceived health in Ukraina, Soc Sci Med., 2002, 55(12), 2177–2188PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    Tsai S.Y., Chi L.Y., Lee L.S., Chou P., Health-related quality of life among urban, rural, and island community elderly in Taiwan, J. Formos Med. Assoc., 2004, 103(3), 196–204PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    Borders T.F., Aday L.A., Xu K.T., Factors associated with health-related quality of life among an older population in a largely rural western region, J. Rural Health, 2004, 20(1), 67–75PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    Wang S., Li L., Li J., Study on the quality of life among the elderly in the rural and pastoral districts in Baotou city, Zhonghua Liu, 2001, 22(3), 205–207Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    Thommasen H.V., Self B., Grigg A., Zhang W., Birmingham C.L., The relationship between self-rated health, stress, health care, overall quality of life and weight in a rural population, Eat Weight Disord., 2005, 10(3), e66–919PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    Fernandez Fernandez C., Caballer Garcia J., Saiz Martinez P.A., Garcia-Portilla Gonzalez M.P., Martinez Barrondo S., Bobes Garcia J., Depression in the elderly living in a rural area and other related factors, Actas Esp. Psiquiatr., 2006, 34(6), 355–611PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. [24]
    Tay J.B., Kelleher C.C., Hope A., Barry M., Gabhainn S.N., Sixsmith J., Influence of sociodemographic and neighbourhood factors on self- rated health and quality of life in rural communities: findings from the Agriproject in the Republic of Ireland, J. Epidemiol. Health, 2004, 58(11), 904–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. [25]
    Mu H., Kurozawa Y., Kotani K., Liu G., Tsunekawa A., Shunichiro N., et al., Health-related quality of life and recognition of desertification among inhabitants of the Loess Plateau region of China: findings for city and village communities, J. Environ. Health, 2008, 70(6), 38–43PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. [26]
    Borglin G., Jakobson U., Edberg A.K., Hallberg I.R., Older people in Sweden with various degrees of present quality of life: their health, social support, everyday activities and sense of coherence, Health Soc. Care Community, 2006, 14(2), 136–146PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. [27]
    Huguet N., Kaplan M.S., Feeny D., Socioeconomic status and health-related quality of life among elderly people: results from the Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health, Soc. Sci. Med., 2008, 66(4), 803–810PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. [28]
    Eng K., Feeny D., Comparing the health of low income and less well educated groups in the United States and Canada, Popul. Health Metr., 2007, 16(5), 5–10Google Scholar
  29. [29]
    Low G., Moizahn AE., Predictors of quality of life in old age: a cross-validation study, Res. Nurs. Health, 2007, 30(2), 141–150PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina Rėklaitienė
    • 1
  • Miglė Bacevičienė
    • 1
  • K. Andrijauskas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Population Studies, Institute of CardiologyKaunas University of MedicineKaunasLithuania
  2. 2.Primary Health Care CentreLT-75451Lithuania

Personalised recommendations