Objective. This study tested the association between perceptions of personal control and quality of life among older persons.

Method. Two self-report instruments, The Quality of Life Rating (QOLR) and the Duncan Choice Index (DCI), were administered to 21 residents in a long-term-care facility. The DCI was developed for this study to measure the amount of choice available in 29 self-care and leisure activities.

Results. A significant positive correlation (r = .54; p = .01) between the amount of choice residents perceive they have and their quality of life was found. The DCI was shown to be reliable with preliminary evidence of construct validity.

Conclusion. Enhancing personal control in everyday life may be associated with improved quality of life. Occupational therapy strategies to empower residents through increasing choice and control include increasing community in the facility emphasizing personal responsibility, and enabling choices in everyday tasks.

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