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Patterns Of Health Complaints Among People 75+ In Relation To Quality Of Life And Need Of Help.

Karin Stenzelius, A. Westergren, G. Thorneman, I. Hallberg
Published 2005 · Medicine

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This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate patterns, type and degree of health complaints and their relations to need of help and health-related quality of life (QoL) across gender among people aged 75-105 (n = 4277, mean age 83.6, S.D. 5.7) who answered a postal questionnaire covering health complaints, self-reported diseases socio-economy, QoL and need of help with personal and instrumental activities of daily living (PADL, IADL). A principal component analysis gave six categories of health complaints, of which communication (80.9%), mobility problems (66.6%), and psychosocial problems (61%) were most prevalent followed by elimination (42.5%), respiratory-circulatory (38.2%) and digestion-related problems (36.4%). Women reported significantly lower QoL than men. Those needing help with PADL and IADL had significantly lower QoL than those not requiring help. Mobility problems were the strongest predictor besides age, socio-economic factors and female gender for need of help with PADL, IADL and low physical QoL (OR 3.97, 3.67 and 7.47 respectively). Psychosocial problems (OR 3.60) were the strongest predictor besides age, socio-economic factors and female gender for low mental QoL. The findings indicate the importance of focusing on health complaints in coexistence patterns described as dysfunctions, and also the need for primary and secondary preventive actions related especially to mobility and psychosocial problems in geriatric care.
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