Health-related quality of life and functional status quality indicators for older persons with multiple chronic conditions

Sydney M. Dy, Elizabeth R. Pfoh, Marcel E. Salive, Cynthia M. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To explore central challenges with translating self-reported measurement tools for functional status and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) into ambulatory quality indicators for older people with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs). Design: Review. Setting: Sources including the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse and National Quality Forum were reviewed for existing ambulatory quality indicators relevant to functional status, HRQOL, and people with MCCs. Participants: Seven informants with expertise in indicators using functional status and HRQOL. Measurements: Informant interviews were conducted to explore knowledge about these types of indicators, particularly usability and feasibility. Results: Nine important existing indicators were identified in the review. For process, identified indicators addressed whether providers assessed functional status; outcome indicators addressed quality of life. In interviews, informants agreed that indicators using self-reported data were important in this population. Challenges identified included concerns about usability due to inability to discriminate quality of care adequately between organizations and feasibility concerns regarding high data collection burden, with a correspondingly low response rate. Validity was also a concern because evidence is mixed that healthcare interventions can improve HRQOL or functional status for this population. As a possible first step, a structural standard could be systematic collection of these measures in a specific setting. Conclusion: Although functional status and HRQOL are important outcomes for older people with MCCs, few relevant ambulatory quality indicators exist, and there are concerns with usability, feasibility, and validity. Further research is needed on how best to incorporate these outcomes into quality indicators for people with MCCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2120-2127
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • functional status
  • health-related quality of life
  • multiple chronic conditions
  • quality indicators
  • quality measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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