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01.12.2018 | Research Article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2018

Functional health state description and valuation by people aged 65 and over: a pilot study

BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2018
Riaan Botes, Karin M. Vermeulen, Adelita V. Ranchor, Erik Buskens
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12877-018-0711-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Assessing quality of life among the elderly is a complex and multifaceted issue. Elderly people might find valuing and describing their personal experience of quality of life (QoL) demanding and cumbersome. This study therefore sought to determine the feasibility of administering two questionnaires in two samples of elderly people.


A preference-based instrument (EQ-5D + C) and a currently achieved functioning questionnaire (CAF) were utilized. Two pilot studies were performed. The first was performed in South Africa (n = 30), designed to test whether elderly respondents could complete and understand the two questionnaires and also to indicate which valuation method, visual analogue scale or time trade off they preferred. A second pilot study was performed in the Netherlands (n = 30), designed to investigate the use of both questionnaires in determining quality of life and health state valuations in a Dutch sample of elderly.


Seventy percent of the South African respondents indicated that they preferred the visual analogue scale (VAS) method, when compared to the time trade-off (TTO). In both the South African and the Dutch pilot studies, the respondents, with different dependency levels, were able to use both questionnaires to determine health state descriptions and valuations. When ranking the profiles from fewer to more problems, the EQ-5D + C exhibits a gradual downwards trend, with a maximum of 100 and minimum VAS value of 41. The CAF also exhibits a gradual downwards trend, with a maximum of 1.00 and minimum VAS value of 36.


The results indicate that individuals from different parts of the world are able to complete, describe, and value the questionnaires. It is our recommendation that a comprehensive study should be done, which includes both the EQ-5D + C questionnaire and the CAF questionnaire, since the two questionnaires have proven to be feasible in providing information on quality of life and well-being of elderly people.
Additional file 1: Ethical review of board. Proof of the ethical review by the Dutch Ethical board. (PDF 146 kb)
Additional file 2: Description of the 5 attributes as proposed by Grewal et al. Description of the 5 wellbeing attributes as proposed by Grewal et al. (DOCX 16 kb)
Additional file 3: CAF Questionnaire. The CAF questionnaire utilized in the study. (DOCX 12 kb)
Additional file 4: EQ5D + C questionnaire. EQ5D + C questionnaire utilized in the study. (DOCX 12 kb)
Additional file 5: TTO example. Example of the Time Trade Off method utilized in the study. (DOCX 11 kb)
Additional file 6: VAS example. Description of data: Example of the Visual Analogue Scale utilized in the study. (DOCX 13 kb)
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