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The Gerontologist 45:37-49 (2005)
© 2005 The Gerontological Society of America

Evaluating the Quality of Life of Long-Term Care Residents With Dementia

Philip D. Sloane, MD, MPH1,2,, Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD1,3, Christianna S. Williams, PhD1,4, Peter S. Reed, PhD5, Karminder S. Gill, MSPH1,4 and John S. Preisser, PhD6

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Philip D. Sloane, Department of Family Medicine, Aycock Family Medicine Building, Manning Drive at 15-501 Bypass, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7595. E-mail: psloane{at}

Purpose: This study's purpose was to better understand existing measures of quality of life in dementia residents of long-term care facilities. Design and Methods: We gathered data from 421 residents in 45 facilities. Analyses determined the psychometric properties of each measure, estimated the relationship between measures, and identified the extent to which resident characteristics predicted scores. Results: Most instruments had good to excellent dispersion and interrater reliability, and most scales had good to excellent internal consistency. Proxy measures tended to correlate best with each other, less well with observational measures, and least well with resident measures. Resident cognition and activities of daily living (ADLs) function were associated with most quality-of-life measures but predicted no more than a quarter of the observed variance in any measure. Implications: Various measures and sources of data provide different perspectives on quality of life. No "gold standard" exists; so a combination of methods and sources is likely to provide the most complete picture of quality of life.

Key Words: Quality of life • Long-term care • Dementia • Assisted living • Nursing homes

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Copyright © 2005 by The Gerontological Society of America.