Adding Quality to Quantity: Quality of Life in Older Age, 2000-2002


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

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.

Main Topics:

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.

Quota sample

Purposive selection/case studies

Face-to-face interview

Metadata Access
Creator Bowling, A., Institute for Social Studies in Medical Care
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2006
Funding Reference Economic and Social Research Council
Rights Copyright A. Bowling and Z. Gabriel; <p>The Data Collection is available to UK Data Service registered users subject to the <a href="" target="_blank">End User Licence Agreement</a>.</p><p>Commercial use of the data requires approval from the data owner or their nominee. The UK Data Service will contact you.</p>
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Text; Semi-structured interview transcripts
Discipline Social Sciences
Spatial Coverage England; Scotland