Medical, environmental and personal factors of disability in the elderly in Spain: a screening survey based on the International Classification of Functioning.

Medical, environmental and personal factors of disability in the elderly in Spain: a screening survey based on the International Classification of Functioning.

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OBJECTIVES. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) advocates a multifactorial and multifaceted conceptualization of disability. The objective of this study was to ascertain major medical, environmental and personal determinants of severe/extreme disability among the elderly population in Spain. The assessment scheme was consistent with the ICF model of disability. METHODS. Nine populations contributed probabilistic or geographically-defined samples following a two-phase screening design. The Mini-Mental State Examination and the 12-item version of the World Health Organization-Disability Assessment Schedule, 2(nd) ed. (WHO-DAS II), were used as cognitive and disability screening tools, respectively. Positively screened individuals underwent clinical work-up for dementia and were administered the 36-item version of the WHO-DAS II to estimate ICF disability levels. We used logistic regression for the purposes of data combination, adjusted for age and sex in all analyses. RESULTS. The sample was composed of 503 participants aged ≥ 75 years. Alzheimeŕs disease and depression were highly predictive of severe/extreme disability (OR: 17.40, 3.71). Good access to social services was strongly associated with a low level or absence of disability (OR: 0.05 to 0.18). Very difficult access to services and having dementia or another psychiatric disorder were associated with an increase in disability (OR: 66.06). There was also a significant interaction effect between access to services and neurological disorders (OR: 12.74). CONCLUSIONS. Disability is highly prevalent among the Spanish elderly and is influenced by medical, social and personal factors. Disability could potentially be reduced by ensuring access to social services, preventing dementia and stroke, and treating depression.

Media title: 
Gaceta sanitaria
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3