Health related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important construct for healthy aging; it describes an individual’s overall health status
. Previous studies have demonstrated significant associations between self-efficacy, mobility, cognition and HRQoL
. Specifically, HRQoL is highly associated with mobility impairments and cognitive status in older adults
[3–5]. Critically, functional abilities such as walking are associated with changes in both physical and mental HRQoL
Impaired mobility is also significantly associated with quality of life (QoL)
 – a construct that is distinct from HRQoL in that it captures gains or losses to an individual’s QoL beyond considering health alone. Specifically, older adults with impaired mobility experience a multitude of consequences beyond health including: loss of independence and social isolation
. Thus, current evidence strongly suggests older adults with impaired mobility are at significant risk for decline in both HRQoL and QoL
. Further, QoL is associated with cognitive status in older adults
One key question remains unanswered: Are we adequately assessing HRQoL and QoL among older adults with mobility impairments? To address this question, we first need to ascertain the association between falls risk, cognitive function, and general balance and mobility, and health-related quality of life and quality of life among older adults with mobility impairments.
Two examples of feasible measures as relevant tools for this population of older adults that evaluate HRQoL and QoL, respectively, include the EQ-5D and the ICECAP-0
The most widely used utility-based measure of HRQoL is the EQ-5D
[12–14]. The association of falls risk, cognitive function and general balance and mobility to HRQoL as assessed using the EQ-5D among older adults with mobility impairments remains unknown. The EQ-5D assesses an individual’s HRQOL according to the following attributes: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain, anxiety and depression
. The EQ-5D yields a single summary score, anchored at zero (equivalent to death) and 1.0 (‘full health’). Values of less than zero define health states worse than death.
The Index of Capability for older adults (ICECAP-O) is a relatively new measure developed to provide a broader assessment of QoL among older adults
[11, 15]. The ICECAP-O measure covers attributes of capability found to be important determinants of QoL among older adults in the UK
[11, 15] – its descriptive system results from an extensive qualitative investigation
. The measure comprises five attributes:
Attachment (love and friendship)
Security (thinking about the future without concern)
Role (doing things that make you feel valued)
Enjoyment (enjoyment and pleasure)
The value system for the ICECAP-O provides a single summary score, anchored at zero (‘no capability’) and 1.0 (‘full capability’), for each state described in terms of the five attributes.
There remains a gap in our current knowledge regarding the understanding of the association of falls risk, cognitive function and general balance and mobility with HRQoL (assessed using the EQ-5D) and quality of life (assessed using the ICECAP-O) among older adults with mobility impairments. Hence, we aim to examine the association of the EQ-5D with the ICECAP-O with valid and reliable measures of physiological falls risk, general balance and mobility, and cognitive status among older adults with mobility impairments.