Purpose: To document health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and subjective quality of life (SQOL) and explore their correlates in older adults seeking services for visual impairment (VI).
Method: A convenience sample of 64 participants (79.3 +/- 5.9 years) with VI was interviewed at home. HRQOL was measured with the Visual Function Questionnaire-25 and SQOL with the Quality of Life Index. The potential correlates were as follows: personal factors (sociodemographic characteristics, co-morbidity, depressive symptoms, activity level), environmental factors (technical aids, social support) and participation in daily activities and social roles (level and satisfaction).
Results: Compared to normative data from previous studies of older adults, the participants had lower HRQOL but similar SQOL. Greater level of participation in social roles, higher perceived activity level, use of a writing aid and greater satisfaction with participation in social roles together explained better HRQOL (R2 = 0.66). Fewer depressive symptoms, greater satisfaction with participation in social roles and with social support and fewer co-morbidities together explained better SQOL (R2 = 0.70).
Conclusions: HRQOL of older adults with VI is mainly explained by level of participation correlates, while their SQOL is mainly explained by depressive symptoms and satisfaction variables. The results also underscore the importance of social roles for HRQOL and SQOL of this population.