Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between self rating and spousal rating of a quality of life questionnaire. This research will be used to determine if a spouse can provide reliable information when a patient suffers from an acquired disability that has an impact on his or her communicative competence. Acquired disabilities such as stroke, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may require the spouse to make critical treatment choices. The research study consisted of fifteen (15) couples, married for 10 years or longer, selected from the Greater Lincoln District Sertoma Clubs in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Dundee Presbyterian Church in Omaha, Nebraska. The research study and procedures were presented to the couples, and they voluntarily chose to participate in the study. Following acquisition of informed consent, the subjects met at a study site to complete the Quality of Life Systemic Inventory (QLSI). The couples were randomly divided into two groups. A self rating group, which completed the questionnaire from their own perspective, and a second group, the spousal rating group, completed the questionnaire from their spouse’s perspective. A Pearson product-moment correlation was calculated on the mean scores obtained from each subject. The means from global and subscale scores were used. Statistically significant correlations were noted on the global speed portion of the QLSI, however the global state, global goa l, and global rank did not evidence statistically significant findings. Specific domains on the QLSI, which found statistically significant correlations, were related to physical health, cognitive-affective functioning, work, and housekeeping. The subscales that were not found to be statistically significant were those test items related to family and social environment, marital relationship, and leisure. Analysis also revealed that several subjects were perceptive to the importance of specific domains in their spouse’s lives, however this perception did not correlate statistically. The clinical use of the QLSI for proxy examination of quality of life is not supported by the findings of this research.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Leigh Ann Mueller July 9, 1997

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