Psychometric testing of the multidimensional Older People's Quality of Life (OPQOL) questionnaire and the causal model of QoL under-pinning it

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Primary Care and Population Sciences


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Bilotta C (2012) Quality of life in older outpatients living alone in the community in Italy. in Health & social care in the community

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Stenner P (2011) Older people and 'active ageing': Subjective aspects of ageing actively. in Journal of health psychology

Description Far more of the ethnically diverse survey respondents had poor QoL than other respondents.

The OPQoL had good reliability and validity in all three surveys.

Baseline indicators of QoL were able to predict follow-up OPQOL scores in the QoL Survey follow-up sample.

Respondents' perceptions of active ageing were multi-faceted.

Despite being more likely to be aged 65<75 than 75+, respondents in ethnic minority groups were far less likely than the other survey respondents to consider themselves as ageing 'very' or 'fairly' actively.

How QoL in older age can be improved: the policy implications of the research

o Survey respondents emphasised the importance of living in a neighbourly and safe area, and having good local facilities to promote friendly and helpful relationship with other people, including neighbours.

o Respondents mentioned the importance of having someone for 'companionship', 'to take me out', 'to make life bearable'.

o Meaningful contact, face to face or by telephone, with sons and daughters was important to most respondents for enjoyment, help and security.

o Contact with grandchildren (and being able to play and go out with them), was frequently mentioned. It was through their grandchildren that they felt able to play a reciprocal role, and to feel useful and valued.

o Many respondents referred to the importance of having social or voluntary activities in the context of the importance of 'keeping busy' - to stop them worrying, feeling alone, or dwelling on the past.
Exploitation Route The measure produced is well tested and robust, and can be used to evaluate outcomes of health, social and other sectors' policy. Apart from publication and dissemination this research resulted in a socially-relevant measure of quality of life in older age, that is being used by others in both trials and surveys.
Sectors Education

Description Impact Report RES-189-25-0108 ESRC Update September 2014 on Application of the Older People's Quality of Life questionnaire (OPQOL): In addition to the update in April 2014-09-16, the use of the OPQOL in the NIHR funded exercise RCT has now been published: Iliffe S, Kendrick D, Morris R, Masud T, Gage H, Skelton D, Dinan S, Bowling A, et al. (2014). Multi-centre cluster randomised trial comparing a community group exercise programme with home based exercise with usual care for people aged 65 and over in primary care. Health Technology Assessment, 2014; volume 18, number 49 The OPQOL continues to be used in survey research internationally, in addition to the research in Italy (Bilotta et al. as referenced in previous updates), China (Chen Y. et al. 2013, and UK (Malley et al 2012) (see April update for references). Enquiries about use of the OPQOL continue (including from the voluntary sector - Age UK South Gloucestershire). In addition to being used in surveys in Australia, Czechoslovakia, India, Kosovo, Serbia, Taiwan, USA (Tulsa), and in a new national longitudinal survey in Sweden (SNAC) which has resulted in our collaboration and a new collaboration with the Faculty of Health and Society, Malmö University.
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Healthcare,Other
Impact Types Societal