Objectives: This study explored unique and personal domains associated with quality of life (QOL) in 153 mid-aged and older Australian adults over age 50, using an innovative measure of individualized QOL, the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQOL-DW).
Methods: Demographic measures as well as the SEIQOL-DW were administered. The qualitative responses on this scale were analyzed by Leximancer, a text analysis program that extracts semantic meaning and relational information automatically from text.
Results: For the sample as a whole, the most important QOL domain was found to be Relationships, followed by Family, Health, Activities, Community, Security, Beliefs, Independence and finally Wellbeing. When the sample was broken down into age bands for analysis, the most important domain theme was Family (50-59 year olds), Relationships (60-69 year olds), Relationships (70-79 year olds), and Health (80+ year olds).
Conclusions: The wide range of concepts elicited in each domain via Leximancer underscores the argument for analyzing QOL in an individualized way, as it was clear from these concepts that different domains had unique meanings to each person.
Clinical implications: Understanding QOL at the level of which domains in an individual are important to QOL in later life is critical to providing services to both healthy aged as well as those with health and mental health needs. The SEIQOL-DW affords clinicians a unique tool with which to describe an individual's unique and relevant quality of life areas, and affords a way to measure change in these areas as a result of interventions.
Keywords: Aging; Leximancer; SEIQOL-DW; older adults; quality of life.