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 Table of Contents 
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 173-178  

Assessment of quality of life of the elderly living in rural and urban areas of Ambala District: A comparative study


1 Department of Community Medicine, Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Ambala, Haryana, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Date of Web Publication26-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anisha Aggarwal
House No: 1756, Sector: 4, Panchkula, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jmh.JMH_128_19

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   Abstract 

Context: Aging is a natural process which universally affects all the human beings in the society. As the geriatric population is quiet vulnerable, They might suffer from mental and physical disabilities which consequently threatens their independence. Quality of life among the geriatric population is a global concern as it reflects the status of health and of well being among the set population. Aims: To assess the quality of life of elderly living in rural and urban areas and compare the role of socio-demographic factors influencing the quality of life of elderly. Settings and Design: It is a Community based Cross sectional study conducted in urban and rural field practice areas of MMIMSR, Mullana. Methods and Material: Convenience sampling was used. A total of 200 elderly were included in the study. A pretested semi structured questionnaire was used. Statistical Analysis: Data was analysed using SPSS 20.0. Results: According to the sex of the participants, male participants had a higher mean score for QOL as compared to the female participants. Higher mean score was found in each domain for the participants living with their spouses. Conclusions: The quality of life is better among the individuals who do not suffer from any chronic illness'. The health care services should be strengthened to provide for better healthcare to the elderlies for their morbid conditions.

Keywords: Geriatric, quality of life, WHO Quality of Life-BREF


How to cite this article:
Mittal A, Aggarwal A, Nayyar S, Thakral A, Natt HK, Singh A. Assessment of quality of life of the elderly living in rural and urban areas of Ambala District: A comparative study. J Mid-life Health 2019;10:173-8

How to cite this URL:
Mittal A, Aggarwal A, Nayyar S, Thakral A, Natt HK, Singh A. Assessment of quality of life of the elderly living in rural and urban areas of Ambala District: A comparative study. J Mid-life Health [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Feb 17];10:173-8. Available from: http://www.jmidlifehealth.org/text.asp?2019/10/4/173/274005


   Introduction Top


The major events in a lifetime of an individual include birth, infancy, adolescence, adulthood, and elderly.[1] Global estimates indicate that the number of the elderly would exceed the number of children for the very first time in the year 2047. The increase would be from 841 million elderlies in the year 2013 to over 2 billion elderlies in the year 2050.[2] There is an ever-growing change in the global demographic structure with a slow shift toward increasing proportion of elderly individuals.[3] In India, there has been an increase in the elderly from 6% in the year 1991 to 8.3% in the year 2013.[4]

As the geriatric population is quietly vulnerable, they have to face various difficulties which are age related. These problems may also be environment related. They may suffer from chronic illness, being lonely, and lack the basic social security.

They might suffer from mental and physical disabilities which consequently threaten their independence.[5],[6]

The changes that occur in the individuals as they mature are in the appearance, decreased functionality of the body, changed interests, differed attitude, and changed lifestyle.[7]

The well-being of an individual has two facets, subjective and objective. The subjective component of well-being includes quality of life (QOL).[8]

The changes that occur, as an individual age, contribute toward decreased QOL. QOL among the geriatric population is a global concern as it reflects the status of health and of well-being among the set population.[9]

To assess QOL among individuals from various cultures and across the world, WHO devised the WHOQOL-BREF scale having 26 questions.[10]

In the northern region of India, very minimalistic research work has been undertaken to assess the health status of the geriatric population.

The present study was thus undertaken with the objective to find the various factors which affect QOL of elderly population residing in Ambala district.

These parameters would serve as baseline data to help come up with interventions and plan services to cater to this section of the society in a better way.


   Subjects and Methods Top


This was a community-based cross-sectional study conducted in rural and urban field practice areas of the Department of Community Medicine, MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Mullana (Ambala), over a period of 2 months, i.e., June–July 2018. A convenience sampling of 200 elderlies were included in the study, 100 from each of the two areas, namely rural and urban were interviewed. The United Nations defines elderly as people more than the age of 60 years.[11] Hence, the study population comprised of people more than 60 years of age living in rural and urban field practice areas of the department.

Exclusion criteria

  1. People who were unfit to give information due to their health status
  2. People who were not willing to consent to participate in the study.


Rural field practice area covers a population of 44,365 residing in 23 villages. Of these, four villages were randomly selected and twenty-five elderlies from each of the villages were interviewed to complete the sample of 100 people. Urban field practice area is divided into 14 wards. Of these, four wards were randomly selected and twenty-five elderlies from each of the wards were interviewed to complete the sample of 100 people. A pretested semi-structured questionnaire having two sections was used to collect the information where the first part included information regarding sociodemographic profile and the second part comprised of a 26-point WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire.

Data were entered in the excel sheet and was imported to the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software SPSS software version 20 (IBM Inc, Chicago) for statistical analysis. For quantitative data, results are presented in the form of mean (standard deviation), and qualitative variables are presented as percentages to indicate proportions. The association of variables with different domain scores is established by applying standard error of means and ANOVA. P < 0.5 has been considered statistically significant at 95% confidence interval.


   Results Top


Maximum females (45%) included in the study were between 60 and 69 years of age. Maximum males (51.5%) included were between the ages of 70 and 79 years. The mean age for the study group came out at 70.58 ± 7.921 years [Table 1]. Maximum participants (75%) lived with their spouses while divorce was observed in a single case [Figure 1]. Maximum participants lived in joint families (61%) while the least belonged to three-generation families (16%) [Table 2]. Maximum participants had studied till primary school (34.5%) followed by high school (27.5%). The least number of participants had completed their postgraduation (2%) [Table 2]. Forty-four percent of all the participants were unemployed. Twenty-three percent run their own business followed by 22.5% who were involved in labor [Table 2]. Thirty-three percent of the participants stated that their source of income was from the business they run. About 27.5% relied upon their old-age pension as a source of income. Only 12.5% of the participants drew salary [Table 2]. Majority of the participants (54%) suffered from some or the other chronic illness like hypertension, diabetes mellitus and arthritis [Table 2].
Table 1: Age wise distribution of participants

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Figure 1: Distribution of participants as per status of spouse

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Table 2: Distribution of participants according to their sociodemographic profile

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Distribution of participants as per their compliance to the treatment prescribed came out at 87.9% of the participants adhering to the prescribed medications [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Distribution of patients as per compliance to treatment prescribed

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On assessing the QOL domains for either gender, it was found that in all the domains, male participants had a higher mean score as compared to female participants. The association of the physical domain with the sex of the participants was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.001). The rest of the domains had no significant association with gender of the participants [Table 3].
Table 3: Quality of life scores as per demographic variables

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The highest mean score was obtained by 80–89-year-old participants in the physical domain (64.61 ± 14.009), psychosocial domain (65.87 ± 11.768), and environmental domain (69.91 ± 14.663). In the social domain, it can be observed that with increasing age, the mean scores also show a downward trend. The association between the social domain and the age of the participants came out to be statistically significant (P = 0.029) [Table 3]. In the physical domain, the highest mean score was among participants living in nuclear families (63.57 ± 15.855). In the psychosocial domain, the highest score was among the participants from three-generation families (68.72 ± 12.63). Similar was the case in social domain and environmental domain where the highest score was of the participants from three-generation families (59.19 ± 15.53 and 70.56 ± 10.32, respectively). None of the domains had a statistically significant association with the type of family [Table 4]. The highest mean scores for all the domains were among the graduates. The association of the physical, psychosocial, and social domains was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.001, P = 0.002, and P = 0.034, respectively) [Table 4]. It was found that the higher score in each domain was found among participants with no chronic illness. The association of physical and psychosocial domains with the presence of chronic illness was found to be statistically highly significant (P < 0.001). The association of the environmental domain with chronic illness was also found to be statistically significant (P = 0.005) [Table 4].
Table 4: Socioeconomic variables affecting quality of life scores

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   Discussion Top


In the present study, it was observed that the mean scores for QOL were higher among male participants as compared to females. It was also observed that the association between the gender and the physical domains was statistically significant.

In a study conducted by Lokare et al. in Vidyanagar, Karnataka, it was observed that the mean scores of males and females were significantly different in the physical domain but not in the other domains.[12]

In a study conducted by Qadri et al. in Ambala district, Haryana, it was found that either gender had statistically significant different scores with higher scores for males.[13]

In a study by Thadathil et al. conducted in Kerala in a rural setup, it was observed that males had statistically significant higher scores for QOL as compared to female participants.[14]

In a study by Shekhar et al., a similar pattern was again observed when the elderlies were assessed in Jammu.[15]

In the present study, the participants residing in an urban setup had higher mean scores in each domain as compared to the ones living in rural areas. This association was found to be statistically significant for the physical domain (P = 0.001).

In the present study, participants living with their spouses had higher mean scores in each domain when compared with those who lived alone or otherwise. This association was found to be highly statistically significant for the social domain of QOL (P < 0.001).

In a study conducted by Sowmiya and Nagarani, it was found that the married elderly living with their spouses had better QOL scores as compared to others for the physical, social, and environmental domains.[16]

In a study by Kumar et al. on the geriatric population from urban areas of Puducherry, it was observed that those elderlies who lived with their partners had higher mean scores in all the domains as compared to the singles/widowers/widows/separated.[10]

In the present study, it was observed that in the physical domain, the highest mean score was among the people living in nuclear families (63.57 ± 15.855). In the psychosocial domain, the highest score was among the participants from three-generation families (68.72 ± 12.63). Similar was the case in social domain and environmental domain where the highest score was of the participants from three-generation families (59.19 ± 15.53 and 70.56 ± 10.32, respectively). None of the domains had a statistically significant association with the type of family.

In a study conducted by Soni et al., it was found that the participants living in joint families had higher mean scores as compared to those belonging to nuclear families. There was no significant association found between the family type and the scores in either of the domains.[17]

In the present study, the highest mean scores for all the domains were among the graduates. The association of the physical, psychosocial, and social domains was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.001, P = 0.002, and P = 0.034, respectively). The association between the environmental domain and the educational status was found to be statistically highly significant (P < 0.001).

In a study by Sowmiya and Nagarani, it was observed that literate elderlies had a better QOL domain score when compared with illiterates.[16]

In a study conducted by Qadri et al. in rural Haryana, the researchers concluded that the educational status of their study population was associated significantly with a higher mean score for every QOL domain.[13]

Thadathil et al. observed a similar pattern where, as the level of education increased among the study participants, the mean score for QOL increased.[14]

In the present study, it was observed that the mean scores for QOL domains were higher among the employed participants. The association between the physical, psychosocial, and environmental domains with the employment status of the participants was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.002, P = 0.003, P = 0.002, respectively).

Thadathil et al. concluded that the employed participants from their study too had higher mean scores as compared to the unemployed participants. In their study, this association between the domains and the employment status was found to be statistically significant.[14]

In a study conducted by Soni et al., it was observed that the employed participants had higher mean scores for QOL in each domain.[17]

In the present study, a higher score in each domain was found among participants with no chronic illness. The association of physical and psychosocial domains with the presence of chronic illness was found to be statistically highly significant (P < 0.001). The association of the environmental domain with chronic illness was also found to be statistically significant (P = 0.005).

In a study conducted in an urban setup in Puducherry, Kumar et al. observed that the absence of chronic illness was concurrent with a higher mean score for QOL among elderlies.[10]

In a study conducted by Thadathil et al., the participants who suffered from no other comorbidity had a higher mean score for QOL. This association was found to be statistically significant.[14]

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

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2.
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Jayashree V. A Study of Problems and Life Satisfaction among the Aged [PhD Thesis]. Mysore, India: University of Mysore; 1988.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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Study protocol for the World Health Organization project to develop a quality of life assessment instrument (WHOQOL). Qual Life Res 1993;2:153-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Myanmar Country Report to the 5th ASEAN & Japan high level officials meeting on caring societies: Collaboration of Social Welfare and Health Services and Development of Human Resources and Community, Community Services for the Elderly; 2007. Available from: http://www. mhlw.go.jp/bunya/ kokusaigyomu/ asean/ asean/ kokusai/ siryou/dl /h19_ myanmar.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Oct 25].  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Kumar SG, Majumdar A, Pavithra G. Quality of life (QOL) and its associated factors using WHOQOL-BREF among elderly in urban Puducherry, India. J Clin Diagn Res 2014;8:54-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
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12.
Lokare L, Nekar MS, Mahesh V. Quality of life and restricted activity days among the old aged. Int J Biol Med Res2011;2:1162-4.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Qadri SS, Ahluwalia SK, Ganai AM, Bali SP, Wani FA, Bashir H. An epidemiological study on quality of life among rural elderly population of Northern India. Int J Med Sci Public Health 2013;2:514-22.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Thadathil SE, Jose R, Varghese S. Assessment of domain wise quality of life among elderly population using WHO-BREF scale and its determinants in a rural setting of Kerala. Int J Curr Med Appl Sci 2015;7:43-6.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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Shekhar C, Koul P, Gupta R. Adjustment and quality of life among elderly across gender. Internet J Appl Soc Sci 2017;4:111-6.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Sowmiya KR, Nagarani. A study on quality of life of elderly population in Mettupalayam, a rural area of Tamilnadu. Natl J Res Com Med 2012;1:139-43.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
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Soni S, Shukla M, Kumar M. Assessment of domain wise quality of life among elderly population and its determinants in rural setup of Bihar, India. Int J Drug Dev 2016;6:9522-5.  Back to cited text no. 17
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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