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Health-related quality of life and well-being health state values among Dutch oldest old

Authors Botes R, Vermeulen KM, Gerber AM, Ranchor AV, Buskens E

Received 2 November 2018

Accepted for publication 23 February 2019

Published 7 May 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 721—728

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S193171

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Riaan Botes,1 Karin M Vermeulen,1 Anthonie M Gerber,2 Adelita V Ranchor,3 Erik Buskens1

1Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, 9700 RB, The Netherlands; 2Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa; 3Department of Health Psychology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, 9700 AD, The Netherlands

Background: Valuing hypothetical health states is a demanding personal process, since it involves the psychological evaluation of hypothetical health states. It seems plausible that elderly individuals will value hypothetical health states differently than the general population. It is, however, important to understand the psychological division that oldest old subgroups construct between acceptable and unacceptable health states. This information can produce important evidence regarding well-being and disability conceptualization.
Objective: To investigate how Dutch oldest old, conceptualize health-related quality of life health states when compared to well-being health states. In addition, we aim to compare subgroups, based on dependency classification.
Methods: Ninety-nine elderly living in the Groningen, Hoogeveen and Veendam areas of the Netherlands participated in the study. Respondents were classified into three groups based on dependency levels. The respondents were asked to value hypothetical health states, a generic preference-based HRQoL and a well-being instrument, using a visual analog scale.
Results: All three groups ranked the same health states, from both questionnaires, below the average across the health states. The health-related quality of life health states was consistently ranked lower than the current well-being health states.
Conclusions: Health state valuations performed by the oldest old indicate that conceptually, respondents view below average health-related and well-being health states as undesirable. The results indicated that the oldest old do view deficits in health-related health states as more important than deficits in well-being health states. Since the oldest old performed the valuations, focused interventions to improve below average health-related outcomes might be the most cost-effective way to increase oldest old well-being outcomes.

Keywords: oldest old, valuation, health states, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), well-being

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