To systematically compare, via ranking and best worst tasks, the relative importance of key dimensions of quality of life for younger and older people.
A web-based survey was developed for administration to two Australia-wide community-based samples comprising younger people aged 18–64 years and older people aged 65 years and above. Respondents were asked to rank 12 quality of life dimensions. Respondents also completed a successive best worst task using the same 12 quality of life dimensions.
The relative importance of the quality of life dimensions differed for younger and older person samples. For older people, the ability to be independent and to have control over their daily lives were particularly important for their overall quality of life whereas for younger people, mental health was considered most important.
Many interventions accessed by older people in geriatric medicine and aged care sectors have a broader impact upon quality of life beyond health status. The findings from this study indicate that a focus on broader aspects of quality of life may also be consistent with the preferences of older people themselves as to what constitutes quality of life from their perspective.