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12-11-2019 | Uitgave 3/2020

Quality of Life Research 3/2020

Health-related quality of life in South Korean community-dwelling older adults with multimorbidity: a convergent parallel mixed-methods approach

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2020
Hyun-Ju Lee, Jungmi Yun
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Alongside population aging, the rapid increase in the number of older adults with multimorbidity—the existence of two or more chronic conditions—has been noteworthy. However, in South Korea, studies taking a comprehensive approach to the factors associated with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and disease-related problems experienced by older adults with multimorbidity have been rare. This study examined the associations of several variables with HRQoL and explored disease-related life experiences of community-dwelling older adults with multimorbidity in South Korea.


A convergent parallel mixed-methods approach was used with survey data from 310 community-dwelling older adults aged over 65 diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases and who regularly received treatment. Qualitative data were collected from 3 focus group interviews with 15 participants. Factors correlated with HRQoL were analyzed using multiple regression, and NVivo Pro 12.0 was used for content analysis.


In the multiple regression analyses, depression had the most significant association with HRQoL. Depression, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, support from friends, number of medications, and subjective health status explained 41.0% of the variance in HRQoL. Content analysis revealed 5 major health-related themes in the participants’ lives: reduced physical function, anxious mental state, changes in the importance of the social support structure, limitations of disease management, and acceptance and endurance.


Based on the results, community-based programs and health promotion projects that consider psychological states (e.g., depression) are needed to boost the HRQoL of individuals with multimorbidity.

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