What Is Important in Measuring Quality of Life? Reflections by Autistic Adults in Four Countries

Helen McConachie, Colin Wilson, David Mason, Deborah Garland, Jeremy R. Parr, Alexia Rattazzi, Jacqui Rodgers, Suzanne Skevington, Mirko Uljarevic, Iliana Magiati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Relevant and valid measurement is crucial in determining whether interventions and supports have improved the quality of life (QoL) of autistic people. However, it is possible that researchers' and services' use of general population QoL tools may overlook issues of specific importance. To advance methodology, we conducted a preliminary exploration of the need and basis for cross-cultural development of additional autism-specific QoL questions. Nine consultation groups with autistic adults (n = 38) were held in Argentina, Australia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom to examine the items of the World Health Organization QoL questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) and the WHOQOL Disabilities add-on module. Each group discussion was transcribed and analyzed thematically to identify missing issues and nuances of particular significance to autistic people. Themes seen as important and particularly relevant to QoL of autistic people included a positive autistic identity, other people's lack of understanding of autism, sensory issues, and autistic people's contributions to society. There were notable similarities across sites indicating that creation of cross-cultural autism-specific items is likely to be possible; the themes identified could inform the focus of items for measurement of QoL. This project represents an initial step toward fuller international consultation, and subsequent development of an autism-specific module for addition to the core WHOQOL model.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAutism in Adulthood
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

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