Health services and medical care - Health
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Elderly - Social stratification and groupings
|The broad aim of the study was to define the constituents of quality of life in older age. The research questions were twofold: how do older people define and prioritise quality of life, and how do they feel it can be improved? While the aim of the exploratory part of the research presented here was to obtain people's values and perceptions of quality of life, it was also hypothesised that, while quality of life is recognised to be an individual, subjective concept, a common core of values could be elicited to enable suggestions to be made on how to improve it. Identification of these values would also enable the identification of pertinent domains for inclusion in measures of quality of life. This study represented a unique multidisciplinary collaboration between investigators with backgrounds in sociology, psychology, social gerontology, transport planning and clinical epidemiology, with collective pooling of expertise and research grant resources (with the consent of the funding bodies). This led to the development of a multidisciplinary quality of life questionnaire. Following the fielding of the questionnaire, 80 respondents were selected for an in-depth interview to probe factors further affecting quality of life. A year after the baseline survey, 38 interviewees had experienced changes, and were re-interviewed to see how these changes had affected their quality of life.
This qualitative data collection includes the baseline and follow-up interviews described above, but not the initial quality of life questionnaire.
Topics covered include life history, family and siblings, educational background, childhood, adolescence, wartime experiences (World War II), marriage, children and family life, grandchildren, happiness and life satisfaction, quality of life issues, retirement and associated issues, income, home, convenience of appliances and mobility, travel, local area and neighbourhood, social participation, friends, leisure time activities, hobbies, social support, health and well-being, control and coping, outlook, happiness, attitudes to old age.
Bowling, A., Banister, D., Sutton, S., Evans, O. and Windsor, J. (2002) 'A multidimensional model of QoL in older age', Ageing and Mental Health, 6, pp.355-371.
Bowling, A., Gabriel, Z., Dykes, J. Marriott-Dowding, L., Fleissig, A., Evans, O., Banister, D, Sutton, S. (2003) 'Let's ask them: a national survey of definitions of quality of life and its enhancement among people aged 65 and over', International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 56, pp.269-306.
Gabriel, Z. and Bowling A. (2004) 'Quality of life in older age from the perspectives of older people', in A. Walker and C. Hagen Hennessy (eds) Growing older: quality of life in older age, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Gabriel, Z. and Bowling A. (2004) 'Perspectives on quality of life in older age: older people talking', Ageing and Society, (Special Issue on ESRC Go Programme Commission), 24, pp.675-691.
Banister, D. and Bowling, A. (2004) 'Quality of life for the elderly – the transport dimension', Transport Policy, 11, pp.105-115.
Bowling, A. and Gabriel, Z, (2004) 'An integrational model of quality of life in older age: A comparison of analytic and lay models of quality of life', Social Indicators Research, 69, pp.1-36.
Bowling, A., See-tai, S., Ebrahim, S., Gabriel, Z. and Solanki, P. (2005) 'Attributes of age-identity', Ageing and Society, 25, pp.479-500.
Bowling, A., Barber, J., Morris, R. and Ebrahim S. (2006) 'Do perceptions of neighbourhood environment influence health? Baseline findings from a British survey of ageing', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 60, pp.476-483.
Bowling, A. and Stafford, M. (2007) 'How do objective and subjective assessments of neighbourhood influence social and physical functioning in older age? Findings from a British survey of ageing', Social Science and Medicine, 65, pp.2533-49.
Bowling, A. and Gabriel, Z. (2007) 'Lay theories of QoL in older age', Ageing and Society, 27, pp.827-848.