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24-08-2016 | Uitgave 2/2017

Quality of Life Research 2/2017

Determinants of quality of life in community-dwelling older adults: comparing three cut-offs on the excellent-to-poor spectrum

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2017
Yves Henchoz, Fabiana Botrugno, Sarah Cornaz, Christophe Büla, Sarah Charef, Brigitte Santos-Eggimann, On behalf of the Research Group on the quality of life of older people in cantons of Vaud and Geneva



The aim of this study was to identify modifications in health, economic and social determinants of quality of life (QoL) in community-dwelling older adults when using different cut-offs to defining favorable QoL.


Data of year 2011 annual assessment in 1003 older men and women from the Lc65+ cohort study were used. Overall QoL was self-rated as ‘excellent,’ ‘very good,’ ‘good,’ ‘fair,’ or ‘poor.’ To identify significant health (self-rated health, SF-12v2 physical and mental health), economic (financial situation), and social (living with others, being socially supported, emotional support, group activities participation) determinants of QoL, a cut-off was set at three different positions to define favorable QoL on the ‘excellent’ to ‘poor’ spectrum: at least ‘good’ (model 1); at least ‘very good’ (model 2); and ‘excellent’ only (model 3).


In all three models, bivariable analyses indicated significant associations between QoL and at least one variable from each health, economic, and social dimension. In multivariable analyses, only health-related variables remained significantly associated with QoL in model 1. Model 3 additionally retained financial situation. In model 2, QoL was positively associated with physical health [odds ratio (OR) 1.10, p < 0.001], mental health (OR 1.12, p < 0.001), self-rated health (OR 2.43, p < 0.001), group activities participation (OR 1.43, p = 0.037), being socially supported (OR 1.58, p = 0.024), and not reporting financial difficulties (OR 1.76; p = 0.036).


Using different cut-offs to defining favorable QoL results in important changes in the number and type of significant health, economic and social determinants. A cut-off between ‘good’ and ‘very good’ appears to best reflect the multidimensional nature of QoL.

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