Functional Disability and Associated Chronic Conditions among Geriatric Populations in a Rural Community of India

Ghana Med J. 2010 Dec;44(4):150-4. doi: 10.4314/gmj.v44i4.68913.


Background: Geriatric population and chronic diseases are increasing throughout the world especially in developing countries like India. Because of social change and urbanization, disability is also a problem in India. As the major reasons for geriatric disabilities are chronic diseases, a study was undertaken.

Objectives: To find out the prevalence of different chronic diseases and disability among the geriatric population in a rural community of India and to determine the association between chronic diseases and disability of the geriatric population.

Method: A cross-sectional, observational community based study was conducted in a rural area of West Bengal, India through house to house visit for Clinical examination, observation and interview with a predesigned pre-tested proforma

Results: Out of 495 study population, 80 (16.16%) were found to be functionally disabled as per ADL scale and more than half (56.2%) of them had 3 or more chronic conditions. 92.5% of study populations had one or more chronic conditions

Conclusion: Association between different risk factors and disability was found with age, sex, anaemia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases(C.O.P.D), scabies, hypertrophy of prostate, ischaemic heart disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and acid peptic disorder were the risk factors of disability. These data suggest the significant chronic conditions and risk factors associated with disability. Measures to reduce such chronic conditions and impairment would be the useful approach for the prevention of disability.

Keywords: ADL scale; chronic condition; disability; geriatric population; rural area.