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Arch Hellen Med, 31(5), September-October 2014, 591-598


Health-related quality of life of people with mobility limitations using wheelchairs in Greece

D. Latsou,1 G. Pierrakos,2 N. Yfantopoulos,3 J. Yfantopoulos1
1School of Law, Economics and Political Sciences, University of Athens, Athens,
2Department of Healthcare and Welfare Management, Technological Educational Institution of Athens, Athens,
3Department of Digital Systems, University of Pireus, Pireus, Greece

OBJECTIVE To measure the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of people with mobility limitations using wheelchairs in Greece.

METHOD The study was conducted in Athens with 120 people with mobility limitations using wheelchairs, selected by snowball sampling. The generic instrument for measurement of the HRQoL of people with mobility limitations, the EQ-5D questionnaire, was implemented by personal interview, during the period April–July 2011. Descriptive statistics and correlation analysis were applied to investigate the relationships between HRQoL and sociodemographic parameters and the characteristics of disability of the participants.

RESUTS The majority of the sample was male (62.5%) and unmarried (68.3%); 37.5% were graduates of higher education and 15.8% were unemployed. The mean age of the participants was 34.8±16.2 years, 76 (63.3%) reported partial disability and 51 (42.5%) had congenital disability. "I have some problems" was reported by 75.8% in mobility, 52.5% in self-care, 59.2% in usual activities, 43.3% in pain/discomfort and 49.2% concerning anxiety/depression. Regardless of whether the mobility was total or partial, the disabled participants had moderate problems in all dimensions except from pain/discomfort, for which 48.7% of those with partial disability reported no pain/discomfort, while 47.7% of those with total disability felt some pain/discomfort. With increasing duration of disability there was a reduction in the percentage of the response "I have a lot of problems". Participants with congenital disability presented a better quality of life in five dimensions of EQ-5D than those with acquired disability. The EQ-5D includes a visual analogue scale (VAS), the mean value of which was 57.51±23.18. The level of education and the nature and duration of disability were negatively correlated, and the cause of disability was positively correlated with almost all dimensions of EQ-5D.

CONCLUSIONS People with mobility limitations recorded a low level of quality of life according to the EQ-5D. Socio-demographic parameters and the characteristics of the disability were found to be quite a strong predictor of health status of people in Athens using wheelchairs.

Key words: Mobility limitations, Quality of life.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine