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Synthesizing Preliminary Normative Values for the Hong Kong Brief Version of World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale: A Review of Published Studies 1997 - 2014


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Background: To synthesize preliminary normative values from published data of the Hong Kong version of World Health Organization Quality of life scale–brief version (WHOQOL-BREF-HK) and to identify areas for nursing atten-tion and further research. Methods: Design: A literature review. Data sources: The literature search was performed from January 1997 to December 2014. Keywords including WHOQOL-BREF-HK, Quality of life, Brief, Scale, and Hong Kong Chinese were used to search the following electronic data bases: Journals @ Ovid Full Text, EBM Reviews, EMBase, PsycInfo, DARE and Ovid Medline. In addition, hand searching of the reference lists of retrieved articles was performed. Review methods: Studies were selected when they adopted the WHOQOL-BREF-HK as a measurement. The scale has four domains. Studies with incomplete domain data were excluded. The WHOQOL-BREF-HK data were extracted from the selected studies by one of the authors independently and checked by the other author to ensure accuracy. The extracted data, presented in raw score, are considered as the preliminary normative values. Results: The twenty-three studies selected for the review included 3,480 subjects (mean age ranged from 31 to 76 years). The preliminary normative values were displayed in the results section to show the mean score of the four domains of the WHOQOL-BREF-HK of each study by subject classifications (subject characteristics, sample size, mean age, percentage of female subjects), and by three categories of people (well, sick and those with specific life events). The synthesis of the values shows some interesting trends, including people with schizophrenia tend to have the poor-est quality of life, and sick people after completing a course of treatment with a possible remission tend to achieve quality of life similar to well people. These trends deserve nursing attention and further research with a population-based sample. Conclusion: Given that population-based normative data for WHOQOL-BREF-HK are unavailable, the values pre-sented in this study, although limited by not using methodological recommendations for normalization of quality of life instruments, offer a preliminary and helpful source for cross references for Chinese people living in Hong Kong. The findings also provide pointers for further research, and help nurses to make better decisions in clinical practice.



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