gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

The fourth age and successful aging: The concurrent validity of two health related quality of life questionnaires used in goal setting

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author A. Bergland - Oslo University College, Norway
  • T. Bruun-Wyller - Oslo University College, Norway

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa110

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Bergland et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Over the last 20 years, the “quality of life” (QOL) has been a subject of great interest in assessing outcomes of intervention. QOL in the elderly appears to be particularly important in view of the increasing number of elderly persons, although the characteristics peculiar to older adults make it difficult to define the concept of QOL in this segment of the population [1]. An important criticism has been raised against the use of QOL in medical research, as the investigators studying such issues often fail to specify what aspect of life they are focusing on and to choose their instrument on the basis of such considerations [2]. The main objective of this project was thus to study whether the HUNT-5 instrument might be a useful alternative to the longer GHQ-20 in older women living at home. We assessed construct validity by studying GHQ as a latent variable consisting of one or more factors, and by studying the correlation of the instrument with other variables assessing different aspects of health and functional ability (convergent and discriminant validity). We also studied concurrent validity related to GHQ-20, which was chosen as the reference measure.


A random sample of 307 women aged 75 years and over (mean 80.8 years, response rate 74.5 %) and living at home were interviewed using the HUNT-5 instrument, the 20-question version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-20) and the respondents’ records of their health status and functional ability.


No significant relationships were found between age and the sumscores of GHQ-20 and HUNT-5. Factor analysis indicated that HUNT-5 is primarily unidimensional. The Cronbach alpha for HUNT-5 was 0.79 and that for GHQ-20 was 0.87. The correlation between the HUNT-5 and the GHQ-20 sumscores was 0.75 (p<.001). There were significant correlations between some of the health and function items and the two quality of life instruments (ranging from 0.14 to 0.68).


This evaluation supports the psychometric validity of HUNT-5 for elderly women living at home. It is important to take into consideration the women’s own experience of their health and functional ability in planning therapy and in obtaining the best possible quality of life for them.


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