Evaluating the quality of life of long-term care residents with dementia

Gerontologist. 2005 Oct;45 Spec No 1(1):37-49. doi: 10.1093/geront/45.suppl_1.37.


Purpose: This study's purpose was to better understand existing measures of quality of life in dementia residents of long-term care facilities.

Design and methods: We gathered data from 421 residents in 45 facilities. Analyses determined the psychometric properties of each measure, estimated the relationship between measures, and identified the extent to which resident characteristics predicted scores.

Results: Most instruments had good to excellent dispersion and interrater reliability, and most scales had good to excellent internal consistency. Proxy measures tended to correlate best with each other, less well with observational measures, and least well with resident measures. Resident cognition and activities of daily living (ADLs) function were associated with most quality-of-life measures but predicted no more than a quarter of the observed variance in any measure.

Implications: Various measures and sources of data provide different perspectives on quality of life. No "gold standard" exists; so a combination of methods and sources is likely to provide the most complete picture of quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care*
  • Nursing Homes
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*