Patients' preferences for quality-of-life aspects in sarcopenia: a best-worst scaling study

A. Geerinck*, M. Locquet, M. Hiligsmann, J.Y. Reginster, O. Bruyere, C. Beaudart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose As information on patients' preferences regarding quality-of-life aspects in sarcopenia is lacking, this study aims to assess the relative importance of the 14 items of a QoL questionnaire designed for sarcopenia (the SF-SarQoL) using a best-worst scaling (BWS) survey. Methods Participants, aged 65 years or older and community dwelling, who previously participated in the SarcoPhAge study, received a BWS survey via the mail. An object case BWS was selected in which participants completed 12 choice tasks, picking the most and least important aspect from 4 out of 14 SF-SarQoL items for each task. Relative importance scores (RIS) were estimated using Hierarchical Bayes modelling. A cluster analysis was also conducted to investigate whether several profiles with regards to QoL preferences were present. Results A total of 163 participants were included, aged 75 (IQR: 73-81) years old, and mostly women (n = 107; 65.6%). Two items were found to be significantly more important than others: "feeling a reduction of physical capacity" (RIS = 11.26), and "having balance problems" (RIS = 11.09). The least important items were "experiencing difficulty carrying heavy objects" (RIS = 2.89), and "feeling a reduction in muscle mass" (RIS = 3.82). We found relatively weak evidence for the presence of two clusters. One cluster prioritized items related to falls where the second prioritized items related to feeling physically capable. Conclusion Not all QoL aspects were equally important. The relative weight of each QoL aspect may be used to interpret QoL results obtained with the SF-SarQoL or to inform target outcomes in interventional studies.Key summary pointsAim To assess the relative importance of the 14 items of the SF-SarQoL, a short-form quality-of-life questionnaire for sarcopenia. Findings Overall, community-dwelling older people considered feeling a reduction of physical capacity, balance problems and reduction of leg strength as the most important quality-of-life aspects. Message Older people considered some QoL aspects to be more important than others. Adequate management of sarcopenia should take into account the patient's own priorities to maximize benefit to the patient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date25 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Sarcopenia
  • Quality of life
  • SarQoL
  • Best-worst scaling
  • Cluster analysis

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