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Assessing life quality in residential care contexts using a validated instrument

McDonald, T. A., 2013

ICN Conference, Melbourne Australia


Background: The McDonald Long-Term Care Quality of Life Tool (LTC-QoL) is a 9-item questionnaire that measures general well-being of elderly people in long term care despite the presence of debilitating disease of disability. The basic elements of the assessment cover social capacity, self-efficacy, supportive relationships, mood state and the absence of fear or distress.

In all 9-items care recipients are rated on a 5-point scale (Never, Occasionally, Sometimes, Often and Always). Each item score is coded, summed, and transformed on to a scale from 9 (worst) to 45 (best) to create the total QoL score. Responses to these assessments conducted over several years were used to determine the reliability and validity of the survey.

Objective: The aim of the study was to validate the psychometric properties of the LTC-QoL for use in residential aged care settings.

Methods: The LTC-QoL was validated through repetition over 5 years in assessing both cognitively intact and cognitively compromised residents over this time.

Results: The LTC-QoL has good validity and reliability with the advantage of being brief and easy to use and with good test-retest reliability.

Test-retest scores were highly correlated. For all questions, 96-100% of cases lay within the 95% confidence interval on a normal distribution.

In terms of validity, no difference was found between males and females (p=0.77, t= -0.2989, df=55) or between those with or without dementia (p=0.75, t= -0.3149, df=48).

Conclusions: This assessment tool provides guidance to those caring for elderly people in long-term care contexts. While the potential for males and females to experience quality of life is similar, dementia is also less impactful on life quality than is commonly thought.

CITATION McDonald T. (2013) Assessing Life Quality in Residential Care Contexts Using a Validated Instrument Paper presented at ICN 2013 Conference, Melbourne Conference Centre, Australia 18-23 May.


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