Health-related quality of life in the Cambridge City over-75s Cohort (CC75C): development of a dementia-specific scale and descriptive analyses.09 Jan 2018
BACKGROUND: The assessment of Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) is important in people with dementia as it could influence their care and support plan. Many studies on dementia do not specifically set out to measure dementia-specific HRQL but do include related items. The aim of this study is to explore the distribution of HRQL by functional and socio-demographic variables in a population-based setting. METHODS: Domains of DEMQOL's conceptual framework were mapped in the Cambridge City over 75's Cohort (CC75C) Study. HRQL was estimated in 110 participants aged 80+ years with a confirmed diagnosis of dementia with mild/moderate severity. Acceptability (missing values and normality of the total score), internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha), convergent, discriminant and known group differences validity (Spearman correlations, Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests) were assessed. The distribution of HRQL by socio-demographic and functional descriptors was explored. RESULTS: The HRQL score ranged from 0 to 16 and showed an internal consistency Alpha of 0.74. Validity of the instrument was found to be acceptable. Men had higher HRQL than women. Marital status had a greater effect on HRQL for men than it did for women. The HRQL of those with good self-reported health was higher than those with fair/poor self-reported health. HRQL was not associated with dementia severity. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge this is the first study to examine the distribution of dementia-specific HRQL in a population sample of the very old. We have mapped an existing conceptual framework of dementia specific HRQL onto an existing study and demonstrated the feasibility of this approach. Findings in this study suggest that whereas there is big emphasis in dementia severity, characteristics such as gender should be taken into account when assessing and implementing programmes to improve HRQL.