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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 192376, 10 pages
Research Article

Health-Related Quality of Life and Preferred Health-Seeking Institutions among Rural Elderly Individuals with and without Chronic Conditions: A Population-Based Study in Guangdong Province, China

1School of Public Health, Guangzhou Medical University, 195 Dongfeng Xi Road, Guangzhou 510182, China
2Department of Internal Medicine, Guangzhou First People’s Hospital Affliated to Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510180, China
3Liyuan Hospital of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430077, China

Received 7 February 2014; Accepted 18 April 2014; Published 18 May 2014

Academic Editor: Harry H. X. Wang

Copyright © 2014 Zhiheng Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to examine health-related quality of life (HRQL) as measured by SF-36 and to identify these factors and the preferred health-seeking institutions of 12,800 persons aged 60 and older with and without chronic conditions in rural areas of Guangdong Province by multistage stratified cluster sampling method. HRQL among rural elderly subjects with chronic conditions was lower than that of elderly subjects with no chronic conditions. Multiple linear regression showed that marital status, living with children, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cataract disease, and mental disease were the main affecting factors of HRQL. The main preferred health-seeking institutions selected by the rural elderly were community/town health service institutions, district hospitals, or secondary hospitals. Our findings indicate that the elderly in rural areas of Guangdong Province have a poor HRQL and incorrect health-seeking pathway. The healthcare policymakers should emphasize the need of developing effective and targeted community services strategies to improve the elderly individuals’ HRQL in rural areas of China.