Research suggests that wellbeing is at its lowest when individuals’ quality of life (QoL) dimensions are rated poor and also very important. We aimed to find out how people evaluated guided individualised feedback when a graphical profile of subjective QoL dimensions and their perceived importance was presented. The study examined whether this novel feedback was considered relevant and valued in self-management and healthcare.
In this mixed-methods cross-sectional pilot study we recruited participants from the community and primary care, targeting 70% with a chronic illness and 30% healthy. The multidimensional WHOQOL-BREF and WHOOL-BREF Importance measures were completed by 129 participants. Inspecting their results presented together, they used directed guidance to identify and interpret graphed differences between the 25 QoL dimensions and their respective importance. Evaluative ratings and written comments appraised the feedback. At follow up, relevance to healthcare was explored with a subgroup from amongst those who found the feedback helpful.
Following feedback, 65% of participants reported changes in thoughts and perceptions of QoL. They described new insights, interpreting these as self-affirming. Goals or expectations changed for 34%, with increasing motivation to change reported. Over 50% evaluated the feedback as helpful, in the short tem or for the future. Follow up in-depth interviews showed participants valued the feedback process; 92% acknowledged its usefulness in sharing information with a healthcare professional. Participants suggested it would facilitate communications, and would help health professionals to treat them with greater understanding and relevance. They also expressed a desire for health professionals to use these understandings in providing targeted health advice and support.
To capitalize on the benefits of individualised, comprehensive guided feedback, this pilot complex intervention needs testing in a fully randomised controlled trial. Our innovative feedback mechanism, whereby self-rated QoL is presented alongside its importance, has value beyond self-monitoring. It has potential to promote individual behavior change and could support clinical decision-making and patient self-management in a variety of health and social care settings.
Llewellyn, A., & Skevington, S. (2015, October). Evaluating a methodology for providing individualised feedback on quality of life and its importance in community and primary care, using the WHOQOL-BREF. Poster presented at International Society for Quality of Life Research 22nd Annual Conference