Assessing elderly persons’ health-related quality of life with the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire

Lischetzke T., Gurny M., Winkler I., Power M., Quinn K., Lucas R., ...More

Zeitschrift fur Medizinische Psychologie, vol.14, no.1, pp.13-23, 2005 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Journal Name: Zeitschrift fur Medizinische Psychologie
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, IBZ Online
  • Page Numbers: pp.13-23
  • Keywords: Generic quality of life, Intercultural questionnaire development, Old age, WHOQOL-BREF
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


In the last years the evaluation of subjective, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is increasingly integrated as an outcome criterion in the health system. Especially in gerontology there is however still great need for validated instruments assessing HRQOL and comprehensive generic quality of life (QOL), including for example also environmental aspects. To measure generic QOL under the patronage of the World Health Organisation, the WHOQOL Group developed the WHOQOL-BREF, a generic QOL instrument with 26 items, attributed to four subscales (psychological well-being, physical well-being, social relations and environment). First results using the swiss/french version of the WHOQOL-BREF in older swiss french speaking individuals (N = 178, mean age 74 years) are presented. Its psychometric properties were adequate and are comparably to those found in an older german group (N = 354, mean age 73; Matschinger et al. in preparation). For the two samples, the original four-factor structure was not easily reproducible. Nevertheless this structure was kept as in other publications (Leplège et al., 2000; Skevington, Lotfy & O’Connel, 2004). Unlike as in other studies no link was found between socio-demographic variables and QOL. The correlation between the number of health problems and depression on the one hand and QOL on the other hand was negative, as expected. However age moderated the relation between health problems and QOL: in older age, the negative effect of health problems on QOL was less pronounced. © 2005 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.