A study of impairment and disability among elderly and its effect on health-related quality of life


  • Apurva Kamat Intern, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa
  • Hemangini K. Shah Assistant professor, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa




Elderly, Impairment, Quality of life


Background: Ageing is generally defined as a process of deterioration in the functional capacity of an individual that results from structural changes, with increasing age. Although old age is not a disease in itself; the elderly are vulnerable to chronic diseases like cardiovascular illnesses, cancers, diabetes etc. leading to impairment and disabilities affecting the health related quality of life of the elderly (HRQOL), which has become an increasingly important outcome in public health research. The main aim is to estimate the common impairments and disabilities among elderly and its effect on their health-related quality of life.

Methods: In the community based cross-sectional study, among 171 elderly (more than or equal to sixty years of age) selected from the field practice area of Urban Health Centre of a tertiary care center, Goa, through simple random sampling technique, the data was collected using a pre designed structured questionnaire eliciting previously diagnosed health related conditions, SF-36 HRQOL questionnaire and a detailed general examination. Data was analysed using Epi Info version 7.00 statistical package and various tests of significance were used.

Results: Of total of 171 elderly, 56.14% were impaired. The HRQOL and domain scores decreased with increasing age with lower mean scores in females than males (p=0.039). Age, marital status, three generation families, absence of co-morbidities, impairment and disability, education, occupation were significant favorable influences on the HRQOL in (total and domain scores), role of physical domain being the most commonly affected.

Conclusions: The increasing population of elderly more so the female elderly population, the emergence of double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, presence of impairments and disabilities severely affects their HRQOL.

Author Biographies

Apurva Kamat, Intern, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa


Goa Medical College

Hemangini K. Shah, Assistant professor, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa

Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine,


Raj D, Swain PK, Pedgaonkar SP. A study on quality of life satisfaction and physical health of elderly people in Varanasi: an urban area of Uttar Pradesh, India. Int J Med Sci Public Heal. 2014;3(5).

Qadri S, Ahluwalia S, Ganai A, Bali S, Wani F, Bashir H. An epidemiological study on quality of life among rural elderly population of nothern India. Int J Med Sci Public Heal. 2013;2(3):492.

ONU. World population, ageing. u.; United Nat (ST/ESA/SER.A/390): 2015:164. Available at: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/ageing/WPA2015_Report.pdf%5Cnwww.un.org/.../population/../WPA2009/WPA2009. Accessed 12 September 2019.

Lena A, Ashok K, Padma M, Kamath V, Kamath A. Health and social problems of the elderly: a cross-sectional study in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka. Indian J Community Med. 2009;34(2):131-4.

Lahariya C, Khandekar J, Pradhan SK. Effect of impairment and disability on health- related quality of life of elderly : a community based study from urban India. Indian J Community Med. 2012;37(4):223-6.

Kumar D, Kumari R, Shankar H. Health status and health seeking behaviour of rural geriatric population of Varanasi district, India. Int J Med Sci Pub Health. 2015;4(12):1711-5.

Ingle GK, Nath A. Geriatric health in India: concerns and solutions. Indian J Community Med. 2008;33(4):214-8.

Elderly In India, 2016. Available at: http://mospi.nic.in/mospi_new/upload/ElderlyinIndia_2016.pdf. Accessed 12 September 2019.

Barua A, MAngesh R, Kumar HS. A cross-sectional study on quality of life in geriatric population. Indian J Community Med. 2007;32(2):147.

Ware JE, Gandek B, Sinclair SJ, Kosinski M. Psychometric evaluation of the SF-36 health survey in Medicare managed care. Health Care Financ Rev. 2004;25(4):5-25.

Goel PK, Garg SK, Singh JV, Bhatnagar M, Chopra H, Bajpai SK. Unmet needs of the elderly in a rural population of Meerut. Indian J Community Med. 2003;28(4):165-6.

Padda AS, Mohan V, Singh J, Deepti SS, Singh G, Dhillon HS. Health profile of aged persons in urban and amp; rural field practice areas of Medical College, Amritsar. Indian J Community Med. 1998;23(2):72-6.

AWarbhe P, Rupesh W. Morbidity profile, health seeking behaviour and home environment survey for adaptive measures in geriatric population-urban community study. Int J Med Res Health Sci. 2015;4(4):778-82.




How to Cite

Kamat, A., & Shah, H. K. (2019). A study of impairment and disability among elderly and its effect on health-related quality of life. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 6(12), 5310–5316. https://doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20195490



Original Research Articles