Factors associated with health-related quality of life among home-dwelling older adults aged 75 or older in Switzerland: a cross-sectional study

Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2022 Dec 21;20(1):166. doi: 10.1186/s12955-022-02080-z.


Background: HRQoL is an indicator of individuals' perception of their overall health, including social and environmental aspects. As a multidimensional concept, HRQoL can be influenced by a multitude of factors. Studies of HRQoL and factors associated with it among home-dwelling older adults have often been limited to inpatient settings or to a sub-population with a chronic disease. Studying HRQoL and its correlating factors among this population, by providing an ecological lens on factors beyond the individual level, can provide a better understanding of the construct and the role of the environment on how they perceive their HRQoL. Thus, we aimed to assess the HRQoL and investigate the correlates of HRQOL among home-dwelling older adults, guided by the levels of the ecological model.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional population survey conducted in 2019 in Canton Basel-Landschaft, in northwestern Switzerland, and includes a sample of 8786 home-dwelling older adults aged 75 and above. We assessed HRQoL by using the EQ-index and the EQ-VAS. The influence of independent variables at the macro, meso and micro level on HRQoL was tested using Tobit multiple linear regression modelling.

Results: We found that having a better socio-economic status as denoted by higher income, having supplementary insurance and a higher level of education were all associated with a better HRQoL among home-dwelling older adults. Furthermore, being engaged in social activities was also related to an improved HRQoL. On the other hand, older age, female gender, presence of multimorbidity and polypharmacy as well as social isolation and loneliness were found to all have a negative impact on HRQoL.

Conclusions: Understanding factors related to HRQoL by using an ecological lens can help identify factors beyond the individual level that impact the HRQoL of home-dwelling older adults. Our study emphasises the importance of social determinants of health and potential disparities that exists, encouraging policymakers to focus on policies to reduce socio-economic disparities using a life-course approach, which consequently could also impact HRQoL in later stages of life.

Keywords: Demographic survey; EQ-5D; Ecological model; Health related quality of life; Healthy aging; Home-dwelling older adults; Quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland