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Challenges in comparing the quality of life of older people between ethnic groups, and the implications for national well-being indicators: a secondary analysis of two cross-sectional surveys

Grant, Robert L and Bowling, Ann (2011) Challenges in comparing the quality of life of older people between ethnic groups, and the implications for national well-being indicators: a secondary analysis of two cross-sectional surveys Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 9, p. 109. (doi:10.1186/1477-7525-9-109). (PMID:22142447).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background
The current international interest in well-being indicators among governmental agencies means that many quality of life scales are potential components of such national indicator sets. Measuring well-being in minority groups is complex and challenging. Scales are available that have been validated in specific parts of the population, such as older people. However, validation among combinations of minority groups, such as older adults of ethnic minority backgrounds, is lacking.
Findings
We pooled data from two surveys of older adults in Great Britain: one conducted among White British people, and one among four ethnic minority groups. Quality of life was measured by the Older People's Quality of Life (OPQOL); Control, Autonomy, Self-realisation, Pleasure (CASP-19); and World Health Organization Quality of Life scale for older people (WHOQOL-OLD). We found differences, some significant, between groups in terms of self-reported importance of various aspects of quality of life. A regression model of each total quality of life scale revealed greater unexplained variability in the White British group than the others. Principal components analysis within each ethnic group's data showed considerable differences in the correlation structures.
Conclusions
There are differences between ethnic groups that are consistent across the three scales and are not explained by a battery of predictor variables. If scales such as these are used to compare quality of life between ethnic groups, or equivalently between geographical regions, the different results in each group are liable to bias any comparison which could lead to inequitable policy decisions.

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More information

Published date: 5 December 2011
Keywords: Older people, ethnicity, quality of life, socio-economic status, well-being
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 337633
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/337633
ISSN: 1477-7525
PURE UUID: 70b695e0-5d8c-44b7-8ec1-18cd11a8647c

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Apr 2012 15:38
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:02

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Contributors

Author: Robert L Grant
Author: Ann Bowling

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