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Clin Interv Aging. 2015 Oct 29;10:1755-70. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S91605. eCollection 2015.

A quantitative dynamic systems model of health-related quality of life among older adults.

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Department of Psychology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy ; Department of Developmental Psychology, Rijksuniversiteit of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
Department of Developmental Psychology, Rijksuniversiteit of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
Department of Psychology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.


Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a person-centered concept. The analysis of HRQOL is highly relevant in the aged population, which is generally suffering from health decline. Starting from a conceptual dynamic systems model that describes the development of HRQOL in individuals over time, this study aims to develop and test a quantitative dynamic systems model, in order to reveal the possible dynamic trends of HRQOL among older adults. The model is tested in different ways: first, with a calibration procedure to test whether the model produces theoretically plausible results, and second, with a preliminary validation procedure using empirical data of 194 older adults. This first validation tested the prediction that given a particular starting point (first empirical data point), the model will generate dynamic trajectories that lead to the observed endpoint (second empirical data point). The analyses reveal that the quantitative model produces theoretically plausible trajectories, thus providing support for the calibration procedure. Furthermore, the analyses of validation show a good fit between empirical and simulated data. In fact, no differences were found in the comparison between empirical and simulated final data for the same subgroup of participants, whereas the comparison between different subgroups of people resulted in significant differences. These data provide an initial basis of evidence for the dynamic nature of HRQOL during the aging process. Therefore, these data may give new theoretical and applied insights into the study of HRQOL and its development with time in the aging population.


dynamic systems model; nonlinear equations; older adults; simulated trajectories; validation

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