Low level disability in activities of daily living in elderly people living independently: Risk factors and implications

Shari Collison, Flavia Cicuttini, Valerie Mead, Fiona Savio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: To determine the prevalence and risk factors for low level disability in activities of daily living in elderly people living independently, and the association with quality of life and accidents. Design: Cross sectional survey of 334 individuals aged 1 80 years randomly selected from the electoral roll. Results: 15.9% of participants had significant disability in at least one of the activities of daily living assessed. Risk of disability was associated with taking 4 or more medications, female gender, arthritis and a previous cerebrovascular event. Those with disabilities had more recent accidents (67.9% vs. 43.89'0, p=O.OOOl) and poorer quality of life as measured by the SF 36. Self reporting was a poor method for identifylng disabilities (sensitivity = 68.5%). Conclusions: Low level disabilities in activities of daily living are common in elderly people living independently and are associated with lowered quality of life and increased accidents. This highlights the need for a targeted screening program to identify such disabilities and examine interventions to minimise them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-40
Number of pages3
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1999

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