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Biomédica

Print version ISSN 0120-4157

Abstract

ESTRADA, Alejandro et al. Quality of life in institutionalized elderly people of Medellín. Biomédica [online]. 2011, vol.31, n.4, pp.492-502. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction. Many factors contribute to the deteriorating quality of life of elderly people living in care institutions. Some of these problems are a consequence of few contacts with relatives and friends, and being alone with a feeling of isolation. Objective. The conditions of quality of life are explored for elderly people living in care institutions. Materials and methods. In a cross sectional study, 276 subjects were selected from 39 long term institutions located in the city of Medellín, Colombia. The sex ratio was female: male 60:40% with a mean age of 79.2±8.0. Elderly subjects with cognitive problems or not living in the institution were excluded. The World Health Organization Quality of Life of Older Adults (WHOQOL-OLD) questionnaire was applied; in additional, capacity and cognitive functional scales of Pfeffer, the anxiety scale of Goldberg, and the Geriatric Depression Scale of Yesavage were administered. Mininutritional assessment scalesand complementary questionnaires about demographics, health perception, social support system were also included. The information was analyzed using the Mann Whitney U test, Kruskal Wallis test, Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression method. Results. Most (71%) considered themselves autonomous for undertaking daily, habitual activities. Other statistics included the following: 45.7% with depression, 33.0% with anxiety, 28.3% with functional problems, and 54.3% at risk of malnutrition. A negative quality-of-life assessment was associated with the following factors: female, diabetes, depression, anxiety and high functional capacity. A positive quality-of-life assessment was associated with individuals who voluntarily came to the institution. Conclusion. Quality of life for elderly people living in care institutions can become deteriorated when they are not capable to do the usual activities necessary for daily living. Exacerbating factors included sex, symptoms of depression, anxiety, or perceived mistreatment by their families.

Keywords : quality of life; aged; Institutionalization, anxiety; depression.

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