Family Quality of Life: International Comparisons of 18 Studies in 14 Countries

Friday, November 1, 2013
First author:
Brown I.
Family Quality of Life

1 Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada

2 Wayne State University, Detroit, USA

3 Surrey Place Centre, Toronto, Canada and Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada

All authors:

Ivan Brown1, Preethy Samuel2, and Barry J. Isaacs3

(Family) Quality of Life
Family, Quality of Life, Intellectual Disability


Family quality of life is a topic that has garnered strong interest over the past decade. Numerous studies have been carried out in countries around the world. Data from 18 such studies in 14 countries that used the same survey and the same data variables is compared to ascertain similarities, and differences among countries and samples.


Researchers all used the Family Quality of Life Survey to collect date, the same data variables for data entry, and SPSS for data analysis. The projects, funded and administered within their own countries, featured a variety of samples of families that have a member with an intellectual disability. The main outcome measures were plotted on a series of charts to illustrate similar and dissimilar measurement trends among countries.


The trends across the nine domains and the six measures of the Family Quality of Life Survey are remarkably similar among the 18 studies. Only one domain, Support from Services, shows notable differences among countries, although this did not correspond well to whether services were available. Family Relationships was the domain universally rated as contributing most to family quality of life. Support from Other People, surprisingly, was rated lowest by family members in all countries.


The results of these studies suggest that families around the world assess their family quality of life in ways that are much more similar than different. The roles of services and others outside the immediate family need to be re-examined for their value to family quality of life.