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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Title Health Related Quality of Life among the Elderly: A Population-Based Study Using SF-36 Survey
Volume 25
Issue 10
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers 2159-2167
URL http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?pid=S0102-311X2009001000007&script=sci_arttext
As life expectancy continues to rise, one of the greatest challenges of public health is to improve the quality of later years of life. The aim of this present study was to analyze the quality of life profile of the elderly across different demographic and socioeconomic factors. A cross-sectional study was carried out in two stages, involving 1,958 individuals aged 60 years or more. Health related quality of life (HRQOL) was assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire. The lowest scores were found among measures for vitality, mental health and general health and the highest among factors including social functioning and role limitations due to emotional and physical factors. HRQOL was found to be worse among women, in individuals at advanced ages, those who practiced evangelical religions and those with lower levels of income and schooling. The greatest differences in SF-36 scores between the categories were observed in functional capacity and physical factors. The results suggest that healthcare programs for the elderly should take into account the multi-dimensionality of health and social inequalities so that interventions can target the most affected elements of HRQOL as well as the most vulnerable subgroups of the population.

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