Health-related restrictions of choices and choosing: implications for quality of life and clinical interventions
Barry J Gurland1, Huai Cheng2, Mathew S Maurer3
1Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, Stroud Center for Study of Quality of Life, New York, NY, USA; 2Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; 3Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
Background: The process of “accessing choices and choosing among them” (c-c) has been proposed as a model for understanding, evaluating, and assisting a patient’s management of quality of life. If desired choices are freely accessible, and the act of choosing is efficient and unconstrained, then the outcome is optimized quality of life. The c-c model fits many clinical situations where improved quality of life is a goal, and interventions may be aimed at relieving health-related restrictions of the patient’s desired activities.
Aims: To determine the impact of health restrictions of choices and choosing on indicators and outcomes reflecting quality of life.
Method: Secondary analysis of a community-based health survey of three ethnic groups, 65 years and older (n = 2,130), repeated after 18 months, with mortality over 6 years.
Findings: Complaints of health restrictions of desired activities accounted for about half the variance of all determinants of a quality of life proxy indicator, and had a high frequency. Such complaints also predicted declines in mood and function, higher death rates, and increased service use.
Conclusions: Clinical trials are warranted of the efficacy for quality of life improvement of interventions that focus on the relief of health-induced restrictions of desired activities.
Keywords: choice, quality of life, aging, health restrictions
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