Subjective judgements of quality of life: a comparison study between people with an intellectual disability and those without a disability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Elizabeth Hensel
  • John Rose
  • Elizabeth Stenfert Kroese
  • J Banks-Smith

Colleges, School and Institutes


The present study investigated the relationship between objective and subjective measures of quality of life (QoL), and in particular, health status and primary care services. Thirty-one people with intellectual disability (ID) were interviewed using a QoL questionnaire. Thirty-one matched controls from the general population filled in a parallel questionnaire. The results in both groups support the findings of many researchers which indicate that satisfaction with aspects of life is generally high (i.e. approximate to 75% of maximum possible satisfaction). The present study also confirms previous findings which indicate that satisfaction with aspects of life does not generally correlate with objective circumstances in either group. The importance that people attach to aspects of their lives did not generally correlate with their objective circumstances or their satisfaction with life. However, people with ID attached greater importance to all aspects of their lives than those without disability. This may be linked to their aspirations, preferences and opportunities for choice, and therefore, these factors may be a more meaningful way of considering their QoL. The present findings call into question the use of satisfaction as a general measure of QoL, and also indicate that the use of importance as a mediating variable in understanding satisfaction may not be a solution. The participants with ID had poorer health than the controls, and were significantly less satisfied with their health. Contrary to other findings, the present participants with ID reported that they had received more health checks than the controls over the previous year. Half of these checks had been carried out by `special' services rather than primary care services.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-107
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2002


  • importance, satisfaction, quality, health, intellectual disability