In addressing the issues of developing a culturally sensitive and elderly relevant measure of quality of life, the research teams resort to a multi-staged approach. The first is to take on an easier target group (i.e. those living in community and are reasonably mobile) in an attempt to develop an initial measure for the elderly people living in community. Assuming that this initial measurement will be largely applicable to the frail ones, an alternative version will be developed based on the modification of the former. So the first stage was a series of focus groups designed to exhaust meanings and components of quality of life as reported by the elderly people living in the community. The second stage involved a representative survey of elderly people drawn from the general household survey lists generated by the Censis and Statistics Department. It was from the community survey that a valid measure called "Hong Kong Quality of Life for the Elderly in Community Scale (HKQoLECS)" was developed (Chan et al, 2000). However, just about the time when a proposal to study the frail was drawn, WHOQOL Study Group in Edinburgh approached the Hong Kong WHOQOL study group to develop a WHOQOL-elderly protocol. The Hong Kong Team then thought it was a good opportunity to collaborate with the WHOQOL Study Group. However, it also means that we have to adopt the WHOQOL-100 (100 items version) as a base rather than using the newly developed HKQoLECS. Nonetheless, the Hong Kong Team, taking that the domains and facets in HKQoLECS were fairly similar to the WHOQOL-100's, accepted to follow the WHOQOL Study Group protocol in developing a WHOQOL version specificially for the elderly people. Procedure taken was almost the same. Focus groups were run in the same way as before, except that WHOQOL-100 was used to facilitate (or frame) the responses of the participants.
The present monograph attempted to make comparison between the findings from the first stage focus groups and those from the focus groups using WHOQOL protocol. For clarity of presentation, a brief overview on quality of life concepts and literature will be given first. Then the first focus gropus study and the WHOQOL-elderly focus groups study will be presented in separate sections. The final section will be a comparison of findings from the two focus groups studies.
Chan, C. M. A., Cheng, S. T., & Phillips, D. R. (2002).Quality of life of the Chinese elderly in Hong Kong: Preliminary findings from two focus groups studies (APIAS Monograph Paper Series No.1). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: http://commons.ln.edu.hk/apiasmp/8