DOI: 10.1093/geroni/igad137 ISSN: 2399-5300

Developing a Standardized Questionnaire for Measuring Older Adult’s Health and Well-Being in Kenya

Samuel M Mwangi, Lucy W Maina, Gloria Chepngeno-Langat
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Health (social science)


Background and objectives

Policy and program interventions for older adults 60 years or older in Africa have consistently been undermined by a lack of vital data as they are usually excluded from nationally representative population surveys. The Health and Wellbeing of Older Persons in Kenya (HWOPs-1) study developed a standardized assessment questionnaire that can be used for periodic data generation. This paper presents how the questionnaire was developed and examines its internal consistency and psychometric properties of the health module.

Research Design and Methods

The development and validation of the HWOPs-1 questionnaire was a three-step process. Step one was a review of 19 panel studies and two national level surveys followed by a wide consultation with key experts and stakeholders on aging. The third step was validation of the questionnaire with a crosssection of a representative sample to test its applicability and adaptability in a mix of rural and semi-urban settings. The internal consistency and psychometric properties of the three subscales: functionality, disability, and quality of life were assessed using Cronbach’s (α) alpha and exploratory factor analysis, respectively.


Three subscales of functionality, disability, and quality of life showed high internal consistency with α=0.94, 0.97, and 0.87, respectively. There were also consistent factor loadings above 0.3 across all the factors. Gender differences across the three scales from the results of t-test were observed. Finally, weak but statistically significant correlations between the measures of well-being and risk factors for noncommunicable diseases were also observed from the analyses.

Discussion and Implications

The indicators assessed have been used in settings outside Africa to measure health and well-being of older adults are adaptable and reliable enabling comparability across space and across studies. The questionnaire provides a framework for examining disease and disability burden and their determinants among older adults in Kenya or similar settings.

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