Living with Dementia: Content Domains Assessed in Measures of QoL

Mackenzie Peters, “Living with Dementia: Content Domains Assessed in Measures of QoL”
Mentor: Sabine Heuer, Communication Sciences & Disorders

Quality of Life (QoL) measures have gained importance in health care settings as outcome measures of treatment effectiveness and an important indicator of client satisfaction in response to treatment. There is consensus that QoL is composed of subjective and objective content domains. However, it remains unclear which specific domains are of particular relevance as QoL outcomes for people with dementia. This is due, in part, to varying conceptual frameworks of QoL. The purpose of this project was to identify common content domains that underpin the construct of QoL as determined by a content analysis of patient-reported, proxy-reported and observational measures used to assess QoL in people with dementia. Based on a systematic literature review, 28 self-reported, proxy-reported and observational measures were identified. Each individual item was coded using an iterative process that involves constant comparison to categorize domains and subdomains. We mapped the 702 test items into a model of 7 content domains: The most commonly addressed domains were engagement in activities or with others (279 items), emotional health (240 items), and physical health (95 items). Less frequently, self-determination (40 items), cognition (33 items), environment (12 items) and global QoL (3 items) were addressed in the reviewed assessments. This work contributes to a conceptual framework for a novel QoL measure. The heterogeneity in terms of content domains covered across measures reflected the diverse conceptualization of QoL. For speech-language pathologists working with people with dementia, understanding the content domains assessed in existing tools is critical to select appropriate measures for individuals to meet the purpose of the assessment: the impact of provided intervention on the client’s QoL.

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  1. Great research, this topic could be importaint to be applied with many of the other demographics that use QoL assesments as well. There might be some interest in using your methods! Good luck with future studies.

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