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

Riaan Botes*, Karin M. Vermeulen, Adelita V. Ranchor, Erik Buskens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
223 Downloads (Pure)


Background: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 16-Jan-2018


  • Elderly
  • Quality of life
  • Functioning
  • Health states
  • EQ-5D
  • CARE

Cite this