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01-11-2010 | Uitgave 9/2010 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 9/2010

Five-year stability in associations of health-related quality of life measures in community-dwelling older adults: the Rancho Bernardo Study

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 9/2010
Claudia Der-Martirosian, Donna Kritz-Silverstein, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor
Belangrijke opmerkingen
All three authors have contributed to the conception and design of the work and data analysis plan, interpretation of the data, and preparing the manuscript for publication. The second and third authors were in charge of the acquisition of subjects. The first author conducted the data analysis and wrote the first draft which was revised by the second and third authors. All authors were involved with the data in a manner substantial enough to take public responsibility for it. All authors believe the manuscript represents valid work and have reviewed the final version of the manuscript and approve of it for publication.



This study examines the five-year stability of the association of SF-12 and SF-6D scores with scores on the longer SF-36 and its domains in community-dwelling older men and women.


Participants were 653 men and 917 women aged 50 and older who completed mailed surveys of HRQOL (1995, 2000). SF-36 physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component scores, domain scores; SF-12 PCS and MCS scores; and SF-6D scores were computed.


Average age in 1995 was 68.2 ± 10.7 for men and 69.8 ± 11.3 for women. In 1995 and 2000, men had significantly higher scores on all measures (P’s < 0.001). Sex-specific Pearson correlations of SF-12 PCS and MCS scores with SF-36 PCS and MCS scores ranged from 0.91 to 0.97 (P’s < 0.000). Health utility scores (SF-6D) were also associated with SF-36 PCS and MCS scores, but correlations were lower, ranging from 0.61 to 0.79 (P’s < 0.000). Age-stratified comparisons of 5-year change scores for SF-36 PCS showed significant declines in physical health for both men and women within all four age-groups (50–59, 60–69, 70–79, 80+) with steepest declines in the oldest age-group (age 80+). Over time, mental health scores showed significant modest improvement in the younger age-groups but declines in men >70 and women >80 years. The SF-6D scores improved somewhat for the youngest men and women but mean change scores declined for the other age-groups.


Similar conclusions would result using either instrument SF-12 or SF-36. However, SF-6D and SF-36 assess, at least in part, different underlying aspects of HRQOL. Both age and sex impact HRQOL.

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