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The relative impact of chronic conditions and multimorbidity on health-related quality of life in Ontario long-stay home care clients


Purpose — To examine the relative impact of 16 common chronic conditions and increasing morbidity on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in a population-based sample of home care clients in Ontario, Canada.

Methods — Participants were adult clients assessed with the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care (RAI-HC) between January and June 2009 and diagnosed with one (or more) of 16 common chronic conditions. HRQL was evaluated using the Minimum Data Set-Health Status Index (MDS-HSI), a preference-based measure derived from items captured in the RAI-HC. Multivariable linear regression models assessed the relative impact of each condition, and increasing number of diagnoses, on MDS-HSI scores.

Results — Mean (SD) MDS-HSI score in the study population (n = 106,159) was 0.524 (0.213). Multivariable analysis revealed a statistically significant (p < 0.05) and clinically important (difference ≥ 0.03) decrease in MDS-HSI scores associated with stroke (-0.056), osteoarthritis (-0.036), rheumatoid arthritis (-0.033) and congestive heart failure (CHF, -0.030). Differences by age and sex were observed; most notably, the negative impact associated with dementia was greater among men (-0.043) than among women (-0.019). Further, HRQL decreased incrementally with additional diagnoses. In all models, chronic conditions and number of diagnoses accounted for a relatively small proportion of the variance observed in MDS-HSI.

Conclusion — Clinically important negative effects on HRQL were observed for clients with a previous diagnosis of stroke, osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, or CHF, as well as with increasing levels of multimorbidity. Findings provide baseline preference-based HRQL scores for home care clients with different diagnoses and may be useful for identifying, targeting and evaluating care strategies toward populations with significant HRQL impairments.



Mondor L, Maxwell CJ, Bronskill SE, Gruneir A, Wodchis WP. Qual Life Res. 2016; 25(10):2619-32. Epub 2016 Apr 6.