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20-10-2016 | Uitgave 4/2017

Quality of Life Research 4/2017

Quality of life in people aged 65+ in Europe: associated factors and models of social welfare—analysis of data from the SHARE project (Wave 5)

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2017
Josep L. Conde-Sala, Cristina Portellano-Ortiz, Laia Calvó-Perxas, Josep Garre-Olmo



To analyse the clinical, sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors that influence perceived quality of life (QoL) in a community sample of 33,241 people aged 65+ and to examine the relationship with models of social welfare in Europe.


This was a cross-sectional study of data from Wave 5 (2013) of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The instruments used in the present study were as follows: sociodemographic data, CASP-12 (QoL), EURO-D (depression), indicators of life expectancy and suicide (WHO), and economic indicators (World Bank). Statistical analysis included bivariate and multilevel analyses.


In the multilevel analysis, greater satisfaction in life, less depression, sufficient income, better subjective health, physical activity, an absence of functional impairment, younger age and participation in activities were associated with better QoL in all countries. More education was only associated with higher QoL in Eastern European and Mediterranean countries, and only in the latter was caring for grandchildren also related to better QoL. Socioeconomic indicators were better and QoL scores higher (mean = 38.5 ± 5.8) in countries that had a social democratic (Nordic cluster) or corporatist model (Continental cluster) of social welfare, as compared to Eastern European and Mediterranean countries, which were characterized by poorer socioeconomic conditions, more limited social welfare provision and lower QoL scores (mean = 33.5 ± 6.4).


Perceived quality-of-life scores are consistent with the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of participants, as well as with the socioeconomic indicators and models of social welfare of the countries in which they live.

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