Quality of life of older Chilean subjects living in metropolitan Santiago, Chile. Influence of socioeconomic status
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Quality of life (QOL) of older people is becoming an important public health concern and should be evaluated. The aim of this study was to evaluate socioeconomic and individual determinants of QOL of older subjects living in metropolitan Santiago, Chile. We first carried out a qualitative phase with focus groups of older people. According to the conclusions of the focus groups, a questionnaire about QOL was devised and added to the WhoQoL (World Health Organization Quality of Life) and WHOQoL-Old brief questionnarires. The final document with 85 questions was applied to healthy older subjects living in the community. A total of 1,676 subjects aged 71.8±7.4 years (1,189 women) took part in the survey. A multiple stepwise regression model showed that a higher socioeconomic level, a better educational level, performing voluntary work, having a partner, participating in groups with other older people, and being younger were factors independently associated with a higher QOL. A principal components analysis showed that psychological health and social relationships were the main domains that explained the total quality of life score. Psychological health and social relationships were the main determinants of QOL in this sample of older Chilean people living in metropolitan Santiago.