Self-reported health complaints and their prediction of overall and health-related quality of life among elderly people

Gunilla Borglin, Ulf Jakobsson, Anna-Karin Edberg, Ingalill Rahm Hallberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To describe and compare self-reported health complaints, overall and health-related quality of life and to investigate how health complaints, age, gender, marital status, living and dwelling conditions and socio-economy predicted overall and health-related quality of life.

DATA AND METHOD: A sample of 469 persons (aged 75-99) responded to a postal questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine possible predictors.

RESULT: Self-reported health complaints such as pain, fatigue and mobility impairment significantly predicted low overall and health-related quality life. Women had significantly lower overall and health-related quality of life than men, and a significantly higher degree of self-reported health complaints. The regression models had more similarities than differences, implying that the overall quality of life instrument were sensitive to physical influences only supposed to be detected by health-related quality of life instruments. Several of the health complaints predicting low quality of life are amenable for being relieved by nursing care. In the care of older people nurses need to assess for several health complaints simultaneously and be aware of their possible interaction when outlining interventions. Nurses are able to facilitate early detection of health complaints negatively affecting quality of life by implementing more pro-active preventive work as well as a higher degree of thorough and systematic assessments. It also seems important to consider that older woman's and men's needs for high quality of life may differ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Health Sciences (303)


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