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A cross-national study of quality of life factors associated with patterns of elderly disablement

  • Lamb, Vicki L.
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    This study examines individual-level data of non-institutionalized elderly from Bahrain, Burma, DPR Korea, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Tunisia. The Grade of Membership multivariate procedure is used to determine profiles of disablement, based upon functional disability and depression items, and to examine socio-demographic and quality of life covariates associated with such profiles. The analysis yielded six profiles or types of disablement: functionally and emotionally healthy, functionally healthy with some depressive symptoms, some strength problems, severely depressed, mobility problems and functionally frail. The healthy profile had higher probabilities associated with males, whereas the very depressed, and those with physical strength limitations, and mobility problems were more likely to be female. There is a strong positive association between age and functional disabilities. The more depressed profiles, however, tended to be among the younger age categories, and the depressed had higher probabilities associated with being not married. The examination of quality of life covariates indicates that the functional and emotional limitations generally are correlated with a lower quality of life. The more functionally disabled and the depressed profiles had more negative self-assessments of health and lower morale scores. The very depressed had less instrumental social support in terms of available kin. Also, the functionally and emotionally disabled profiles expressed less satisfaction of visits with family and friends. Country-specific patterns of elderly disablement indicate a possible disability transition such that as countries become more developed there may be an increase in the prevalence of disabled elderly. However, there are exceptions to this trend, and these may be due to both cultural factors and data limitations.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-3VWPKN3-28/2/59b739632799198e07dacc89a6b8c275
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 42 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 3 (February)
    Pages: 363-377

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:42:y:1996:i:3:p:363-377
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