Systematic review of 29 self-report instruments for assessing quality of life in older adults receiving aged care services

Joyce Siette, Gilbert Thomas Knaggs, Yvonne Zurynski, Julie Ratcliffe, Laura Dodds, Johanna Westbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Background Quality of life (QoL) outcomes are used to monitor quality of care for older adults accessing aged care services, yet it remains unclear which QoL instruments best meet older adults', providers' and policymakers' needs. This review aimed to (1) identify QoL instruments used in aged care and describe them in terms of QoL domains measured and logistical details; (2) summarise in which aged care settings the instruments have been used and (3) discuss factors to consider in deciding on the suitability of QoL instruments for use in aged care services. Design Systematic review. Data sources MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library and CINAHL from inception to 2021. Eligibility criteria Instruments were included if they were designed for adults (>18 years), available in English, been applied in a peer-reviewed research study examining QoL outcomes in adults >65 years accessing aged care (including home/social care, residential/long-term care) and had reported psychometrics. Data extraction and synthesis Two researchers independently reviewed the measures and extracted the data. Data synthesis was performed via narrative review of eligible instruments. Results 292 articles reporting on 29 QoL instruments were included. Eight domains of QoL were addressed: physical health, mental health, emotional state, social connection, environment, autonomy and overall QoL. The period between 1990 and 2000 produced the greatest number of newly developed instruments. The EuroQoL-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) and Short Form-series were used across multiple aged care contexts including home and residential care. More recent instruments (eg, ICEpop CAPability measure for Older people (ICECAP-O) and Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT)) tend to capture emotional sentiment towards personal circumstances and higher order care needs, in comparison with more established instruments (eg, EQ-5D) which are largely focused on health status. Conclusions A comprehensive list of QoL instruments and their characteristics is provided to inform instrument choice for use in research or for care quality assurance in aged care settings, depending on needs and interests of users.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere050892
Number of pages17
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2021


  • mental health
  • old age psychiatry
  • quality in health care


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