What is the DQoL-OC©?
The DQoL-OC is an age- and dementia-specific, multidimensional and validated tool for measuring subjective quality of life in older family carers of people living with dementia.
The DQoL-OC is a 22-item scale that measures the impact of caregiving on the quality of older family carers’ social relationships; financial situation; psychological health; independence, control over life events, and freedom; leisure, social, and solo activities; physical health; general health; energy and vitality; satisfaction with life and caregiving; identity; and life in general.
Who would complete the DQoL-OC©?
The DQoL-OC© has been validated for use with older family carers of people with dementia being cared for at home.Because subjective QoL appraisal and the relevance of several life domains change in later life, the QoL of older people needs to be measured using age-specific scales. At present, the DQoL-OC has only been validated for use with older family carers of people with dementia (aged ≥ 60) being cared for at home in the UK.
Why use the DQoL-OC©?
Is multidimensional. The DQoL-OC items reflect various aspects of life that are particularly relevant to older family carers of people with dementia, such as an individual’s psychological and physical health; energy and vitality; independence, control, and freedom; leisure, social, and solo activities; identity and relationships; satisfaction with life and caregiving; and financial situation.
Measures QoL from a subjective perspective. The DQoL-OC measures the individual’s perception about the quality of his/her life. It evaluates relevant QoL domains via cognitive and affective psychological mechanisms, and therefore it provides evidence about feelings and satisfaction with life.
Is psychometrically sound. The DQoL-OC was developed from focus groups with older family carers of people with dementia being cared for at home in the UK. A panel of experts evaluated its face validity and relevance for use with older family carers of people with dementia. It has been tested in a psychometric study with older family carers, demonstrating excellent internal consistency, evidence of test-retest reliability, and convergent construct validity. Participants in the psychometric study also evaluated its practicality, content, and face validity. Because the scale has been developed and tested in the UK, it is advisable for the researcher to check the psychometric properties if the scale is used outside the UK and/or with a population with a different background.
Using the DQoL-OC© as an intervention for family carers
The DQoL-OC© can be used by health professionals to understand the impact of caregiving on the older family carers’ quality of life. By asking an older family carer to complete the questionnaire, their experiences can be quantified at baseline giving the opportunity for comparison within the individual’s experiences at each completion.
Using the DQoL-OC© can guide the clinician in terms of where resources may be best placed for the family in order to improve quality of life.