Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 April 2012
Day care centres intend to improve the quality of life of disabled older adults. The aims of the paper are to: (a) examine the extent to which users of day care centres experience higher levels of quality of life compared to their peers who are non-users; and (b) to explore the relationships between the length of use and frequency of weekly attendance at day care centres and quality of life. This is a case-control study with a sample of 817 respondents, of whom 417 were users of day care centres and 400 were non-users, matched by age, gender and family physician. The study was conducted in 12 day care centres in the southern region of Israel. Data collection included face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. Quality of life was found to be significantly related to the use of day care centres, but length and frequency of attendance were insignificant in explaining quality of life among users of day care centres. The study demonstrated that users of day care centres have a higher quality of life, but in a cross-sectional study we cannot prove causality. Therefore, more research using quasi-experimental and longitudinal research designs is necessary to assess causality between use and attendance at day care centres on users' quality of life.