Original Article

Effects of Household Composition on Health-Related Quality of Life among the Japanese Middle-Aged and Elderly:Analysis from a Gender Perspective

Takashi Kawano, Goro Moriki, Shinya Bono, Nobuyuki Kaji and Hungu Jung


To elucidate the social characteristics of eligible elderly people for community-based integrated support, we analysed the effects of gender, age, household composition, employment status, and community involvement on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among the middle-aged and elderly. We gave a questionnaire to 1020 middle-aged and elderly people in the city of A, Hiroshima in cooperation with the local residents’ associations (982 responded, the respond rate: 96.3%). 720 were accepted as subjects of this study. HRQOL scores were evaluated by the Japanese Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey Version II. Stepwise multiple regression analysis with HRQOL scores as a dependent variable, while controlling for age, household composition, employment status, exercise habits and community involvement, revealed that household composition is a significant predictor of physical component summary (PCS) and role/social component summary (RCS). Furthermore, one factorial analysis of variance was performed to evaluate HRQOL scores by each type of household composition, indicating that PCS and RCS of middle-aged and elderly female single-person households were significantly lower than middle-aged and elderly female in the other household types and male. Consequently, our study demonstrates that household composition is an effective social factor for screening of the target elderly of community-based integrated support, and the necessity to consider social support which meets the needs of elderly female who live alone.

Keywords: living alone, the elderly, female, social isolation, health-related quality of life, community-based integrated support

Japanese Journal of Social Welfare, 60 (5), 1–12 2020