Measuring the quality of life of the elderly in health promotion intervention clinical trials

N. G. Kutner, M. G. Ory, D. I. Baker, K. B. Schechtman, M. C. Hornbrook, C. D. Mulrow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Multicenter Trials of Frailty and Injuries: Cooperative Studies of Intervention Techniques (FICSIT) is a series of clinical trials of biomedical, behavioral, and environmental interventions to reduce the risks of frailty and injury among the elderly. Reliable assessment of the quality of life reported by the subjects is a central issue in evaluating the interventions. An intervention may have a significant impact on an elderly person's sense of well-being, even though significant improvement is not observed in selected physical outcome measures. Elderly persons' compliance with particular intervention regimens may be influenced by the quality of life effects that they perceive in relation to the intervention. The researchers review the definition and measurement of quality of life in the trials, with particular attention to issues in determining common measures used at all study locations. Practical considerations in the selection and use of quality of life measures in both community and institutional populations are addressed. Topics discussed include the interrelation of aging, functional capacities, and quality of life; the multi-dimensionality of quality of life in relation to differential intervention effects; and age- related issues in the collection of quality of life data. Preliminary observations are reviewed, and potential contributions of FICSIT to intervention-sensitive quality of life assessments among the elderly are noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-539
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Reports
Volume107
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

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