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.