Quality of life among older people with poor functioning: The influence of perceived control over life

Ann Bowling, Sharon Seetai, Richard Morris, Shah Ebrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the apparently incongruous coupling of poor physical functioning with high QoL.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Face-to-face interview survey of random sample of 999 people aged 65+ across Britain.

RESULTS: Twenty-one per cent of respondents reported fairly to very severe levels of functional difficulty, and 62% of these rated their QoL as 'good'. Better self-rated health, lower burden of chronic disease, not having fallen, higher social engagement and higher levels of perceived control ver life, distinguished between people who had difficulties with physical functioning and who perceived their QoL to be 'good', rather than 'not good'. The open-ended survey responses broadly supported the quantitative findings.

CONCLUSION: People with difficulties with physical functioning, who perceived their QoL to be 'not good', as opposed to 'good', were adversely affected by a higher burden of disease and having fewer socio-psychological resources to help them to cope effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-5
Number of pages6
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Perception
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Support


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