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Scand J Caring Sci. 2005 Dec;19(4):403-9.

The SEIQoL and functional status: how do they relate?

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Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


Over recent years, an emphasis has emerged in the UK and international policy documents, over the involvement of people in the delivery of health care. However, evaluations of health services still largely rest on outcome measures that reflect professional concerns. As new health services are being developed, new patient-centred outcome measures are needed to evaluate them. This paper aims at exploring the possibility of individual quality of life as an outcome measure for health services. As a first step, it aims to elucidate the relationship of functional outcome measures to the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL) in groups of people whose age or medical diagnosis serve as the basis for health service design. Its objectives are to study the relation of SEIQoL scores and life areas to functional status in an older population and in a group of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Older people selected their health most frequently as one of the most important areas in their life (9.9%, vs. 8.6% for people with COPD) and were more satisfied with it (U = 2,512, p = 0.007). People's health status did not impact on the way they defined their quality of life, but on their level of satisfaction with discrete life areas. The weights attributed to health were significantly negatively correlated to people's overall quality of life score in the overall sample (rho = -0.34, p < 0.001). In the light of recent national and international policy documents advocating for the development of new, more person-centred health services, our results support the proposition of the authors of SEIQoL, that individual quality of life measures have the potential to bring a significant contribution to the evaluation of health services.

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