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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

FLECK, Marcelo P A; CHACHAMOVICH, Eduardo  and  TRENTINI, Clarissa M. WHOQOL-OLD Project: method and focus group results in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.6, pp. 793-799. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102003000600016.

OBJECTIVES: Exploring the conditions that allow satisfactory quality of life in old age is an issue of scientific and social relevance. Thus, the objective of the study was to describe a quality of life assessment method for the elderly and present the results from focus groups conducted among old people in good health and ill health, as well as their caregivers. METHODS: The methodology used in the WHOQOL-OLD project is the same as utilized in the development of other WHOQOL modules. Five focus groups were conducted in Brazil. The sampling procedure was done according to convenience. Eighteen old people and five caregivers took part in the focus groups. All the focus groups followed a pre-established methodology. RESULTS: A tendency towards making an association between quality of life and wellbeing and feeling well was observed. The responses spontaneously included the 6 domains proposed in WHOQOL-100, thus corroborating the multidimensional nature of this construction. Nineteen out of the 24 original facets of this instrument were cited as relevant, and the five facets not spontaneously remembered were not concentrated in a single domain. When questioned about the importance of each of the 24 facets of WHOQOL-100, the groups considered all of them to be relevant. However, suggestions for modifications to five facets were made. Additional items were also examined and considered relevant for assessing quality of life among the elderly, by both the old people and the caregivers. CONCLUSIONS: The results corroborate the hypothesis that old people constitute a particular group and, as such, they have relevant specific characteristics. Thus, an appropriate instrument for assessing quality of life among the elderly needs to consider such matters.

Keywords : Aged; Quality of life; Focus groups; Caregivers; Aging health.

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