Health Screening of the Elderly: A Cross-Sectional Comparative Study in Urban and Rural Surendranagar
Introduction: Worldwide, increase in longevity has shifted the age distribution toward elderly population. For the substantial impact of this burden, preventive health-care strategies specific to the elderly need to be clearly formulated and tested. The screening of health problems can give a better cross-sectional assessment of the health problems and also is a clear reflection of the felt and unfelt needs of the elderly. Aims and Objectives: The aims of the study were as follows: (1) To study the clinicoepidemiological profile of the elderly living in urban and rural areas of the district, (2) to study the difference in both urban and rural areas with respect to their clinical presentations and clinical examination findings, and (3) to identify most prevalent health problems among the elderly with differences in urban and rural areas. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in urban and rural area of Surendranagar district among 611 elderly, using a pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire. The study was carried out by directly questioning and physical examination of the subjects with oral and written consent. For selection of the area, in both the urban and rural areas, the sampling units were enumerated and samples were collected using simple random sampling. Data were entered and analyzed using MS Excel 2007. Results: Most prevalent chief complaints were related to locomotor, vision, and hearing problems. Others included complaints related to cardiovascular system (CVS), respiratory system (RS), and gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Females had more prominent history of medical illness than males. Conclusion: It can be concluded from the study that most common complaints among the elderly were related to vision; hearing and locomotor system and the less prevalent ones were related to CVS, RS, and GIT systems. Community-based camps and screening exercises must be carried out at regular intervals to find out the patterns and trends of morbidities experienced by the elderly.
Key words: Clinical examination, elderly, ophthalmic, psychiatric, urban, rural
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