Measures to assess the quality of life for people with advanced dementia: Issues in measurement and conceptualisation

Lauren Thompson (Staffordshire University)
Paul Kingston (Health and Social Care, Staffordshire University)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Publication date: 1 December 2004


With the increase in the development of treatments that aim to improve the symptoms of dementia, more attention is focussed upon the effect that these treatments have on the patient's quality of life (QoL). There are specific challenges to be met in measuring the QoL of a patient who is in the later, more severe, stages of dementia. The main challenge to be met is whether the QoL measure can measure QoL in an individual who is unable to provide a subjective report of his or her own QoL. This paper presents five QoL measures that have been designed or used to measure the QoL of patients with severe dementia who are unable to provide self‐reports and to examine whether these measures are a valid and reliable means of assessing QoL in patients with severe dementia. It was found that all of the QoL measures have moderate to good reliability and validity, but the question still remains that without a subjective account, such as a self‐report from the person with dementia, is the outcome of these QoL measures a true reflection of the patient's QoL?



Thompson, L. and Kingston, P. (2004), "Measures to assess the quality of life for people with advanced dementia: Issues in measurement and conceptualisation", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 29-39.

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