Real-world problem solving and quality of life in older people

M. L. Gilhooly, K. J. Gilhooly, L. H. Phillips, D. Harvey, A. Brady, P. Hanlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. This study examined relationships between quality of life (QoL) in older people and cognitive functioning in both abstract and real-world problem solving.

Design. Contributions of levels of mental, physical and social activities, self-rated and objective health status, self-rated cognitive functioning, socio-economic status, gender, real-world and abstract problem solving were examined in a regression study of factors related to QoL in older people.

Method. Participants (N = 145) were 70-91 years of age. The current cognitive functioning was assessed by psychometric tests and real-world problem-solving tasks. Prior functioning was indexed by crystallized ability measures. QoL was assessed using the Leiden-Padua questionnaire (LEIPAD), Faces scales and Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale. A single QoL factor was derived.

Results. Simultaneous multiple regressions indicated that QoL was related to real-world but not to abstract problem-solving ability. Separate contributions to QoL were also found for health and self-rated cognitive functioning.

Conclusions. The present study replicates previous findings that abstract problem solving ability is not related to QoL and supports the hypothesis that real-world or everyday problem-solving ability is associated with QoL in older people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-600
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • age
  • scale


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