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Assessment of health, functioning and disability of a population aged 60–70 in south-eastern Poland using the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0)

Institute of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rzeszow, Poland
[b]Introduction. [/b]There is a growing number of older people in Poland. This phenomenon results in the need to assess their problems related with functioning in everyday life. This is the first study conducted in Polish society which evaluates the prevalence of disability and limitations in functioning by means of WHODAS 2.0 questionnaire. [b]Objective.[/b] Evaluation of the health, functioning and disability of people aged 60–70 years living in south-eastern Poland. [b]Materials and method. [/b]The researched material was a randomly- selected sample of 1,000 inhabitants of south-eastern Poland. The study was conducted by use of direct interviews applying the WHODAS 2.0. For the purpose of statistical analysis, measures of descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests of significance were used. [b]Results. [/b]Limitations in functioning were reported by 67.00% of participants aged 60–70 years, including 46.20% with a mild disability, 14.50% – moderate, 6.30% – significant and extremely large disability. The highest level of disability occurred in areas related to participation in social life (mean = 20.77), performing activities of daily living (mean = 17.42) and mobility (mean = 17.23). A significantly higher level of disability (p <0.0001)was observed among unmarried people, the elderly and those with a greater number of chronic diseases. Higher level of physical activity was associated with lower disability level in the studied population (p <0.009). [b]Conclusions.[/b] Regarding the studied population, it was found that many health problems become worse over the years. The state of health that deteriorates with age causes limitations in daily functioning, which lead to disability, activity limitations and participation in everyday life. The progressive ageing of the Polish population will cause an increasing demand for medical care and on the social services.