Developing dimensions for a new preference-based quality of life instrument for older people receiving aged care services in the community

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Purpose: To identify the salient quality of life characteristics relevant to older people in receipt of community aged care services in order to develop dimensions for a draft descriptive system for a new preference-based quality of life instrument. Methods: Forty-one in-depth semi-structured interviews were undertaken with older people (65 years and over) receiving community aged care services across three Australian states to explore quality of life characteristics of importance to them. The data were analysed using framework analysis to extract broader themes which were organised into a conceptual framework. The data were then summarised into a thematic chart to develop a framework matrix which was used to interpret and synthesise the data. Care was taken throughout to retain the language that older people had adopted during the interviews to ensure that appropriate language was used when identifying and developing the quality of life dimensions. Results: The analysis resulted in the identification of five salient quality of life dimensions: independence, social connections, emotional well-being, mobility, and activities. Conclusion: This research finds that quality of life for older people accessing aged care services goes beyond health-related quality of life and incorporates broader aspects that transcend health. The findings represent the first stage in a multiphase project working in partnership with older people to develop a new preference-based instrument of quality of life for informing quality assessment and economic evaluation in community aged care. In future work, draft items will be developed from these dimensions and tested in face validity interviews before progressing to further psychometric testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-565
Number of pages11
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number2
Early online date29 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Aged care services
  • Economic evaluation
  • Older people
  • Preference-based instrument
  • Quality of life


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