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)
More details
Hide details
Institute of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rzeszow, Poland
Corresponding author
Agnieszka Ćwirlej-Sozańska   

Institute of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rzeszow, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2018;25(1):124-130
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.

Evaluation of the health, functioning and disability of people aged 60–70 years living in south-eastern Poland.

Material and Methods:
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.

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).

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.

Kancelaria Senatu. Starzenie się społeczeństwa Polskiego i jego skutki. Biuro Analiz i Dokumentacji. Warszawa, 2011.
Börsch-Supan A, Härtl K, Ludwig A. Aging in Europe: Reforms, International Diversification, and Behavioral Reactions. Am Econ Rev. 2014; 104(5): 224–229.
European Commission. The 2015 Ageing Report: Economic and budgetary projections for the 28 EU Member States (2013–2060).
EUROSTAT. Population structure and ageing. (access: 2016.10.10).
Commission of the European Communities. Commission Communication. The demographic future of Europe – from challenge to opportunity. Brussels, 2006. (access: 2016.10.10).
United Nations, 2015. World population prospects: the 2015 revision. (access: 2016.10.10).
Błędowski P, Szatur-Jaworska B, Szweda-Lewandowska Z, Kubicki P. Raport na temat sytuacji osób starszych w Polsce. IPiSS. Warszawa, 2012.
Cymanow P, Florek-Paszkowska A. Ocena kosztów migracji ludności wiejskiej Karpat w kontekście zarządzania problemowymi obszarami migracyjnymi. Zesz Nauk SGGW, Probl Rol Świat. 2015; 15(30): 26–34.
Główny Urząd Statystyczny. Prognoza ludności Polski na lata 2014 – 2050. GUS. Warszawa, 2014.
Główny Urząd Statystyczny. Ludność w wieku 60+. Struktura demograficzna i zdrowie. GUS. Warszawa, 2016.
Główny Urząd Statystyczny. Sytuacja demograficzna osób starszych i konsekwencje starzenia się ludności Polski w świetle prognozy na lata 2014–2050. GUS, Warszawa, 2014.
Gołata E, Kuropka I. Zmiany demograficzne i ich następstwa dla wybranych obszarów polityki społecznej w dużych miastach w Polsce. Studia Ekonom. 2015; 223: 162–173.
Kłos B. Europejskie systemy emerytalne – stan i perspektywy. Analizy BAS. 2011; 5: 1–12.
Tak E, Kuiper R, Chorus A, Hopman-Rock M. Prevention of onset and progression of basic ADL disability by physical activity in community dwelling older adults: a meta-analysis. Ageing Res Rev. 2013; 12(1): 329–338.
Fraga MF, Esteller M. Epigenetics and aging: the targets and the marks. Trends Genet. 2007; 23: 413–418.
Rouquette A, Badley EM, Falissard B, Dub T, Leplege A, Coste J. Moderators, mediators, and bidirectional relationships in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework: An empirical investigation using a longitudinal design and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Soc Sci Med. 2015; 135: 133–142.
Officer A, Groce NE. Key concepts in disability. Lancet. 2009; 374: 1795–1796.
World Report on Disability; World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2011.
Hoefsmit N, Houkes I, Nijhuis F. Environmental and personal factors that support early return-to-work: a qualitative study using the ICF as a framework. Work. 2014; 48(2): 203–215.
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. WHO, 2001.
Üstün TB, Kostanjsek N, Chatterji S, Rehm J. Measuring Health and Disability Manual for WHO Disability Assessment Schedule WHODAS 2.0. WHO, 2010.
Orueta JF, Nuño-Solinis R, Mateos M, Vergara I, Grandes G, Esnaola S. Monitoring the prevalence of chronic conditions: which data should we use?. BMC Health Serv Res. 2012; 12: 365.
Vasilopoulos T, Kotwal A, Huisingh-Scheetz MJ, Waite LJ, McClintock MK, Dale W. Comorbidity and chronic conditions in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), Wave 2. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2014; 69: 154–156.
Chatterji S, Byles J, Cutler D, Seeman T, Verdes E. Health, functioning, and disability in older adults—present status and future implications. Lancet. 2015; 385: 563–575.
Salisbury C, Johnson L, Purdy S, Valderas JM, Montgomery AA. Epidemiology and impact of multimorbidity in primary care: a retrospective cohort study. Br J Gen Pract. 2011; 61: 12–21.
Ahmadi B, Alimohammadian M, Yaseri M, Majidi A, Boreiri M, Islami F et al. Multimorbidity: Epidemiology and Risk Factors in the Golestan Cohort Study, Iran: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. Medicine. 2016; 95(7): e2756.
Barnett K, Mercer SW, Norbury M, Watt G, Wyke S, Guthrie B. Epidemiology of multimorbidity and implications for health care, research, and medical education: a cross-sectional study. Lancet. 2012; 380: 37–43.
Foguet-Boreu Q, Violan C, Roso-Llorach A, Rodriguez-Blanco T, Pons-Vigués M, Muñoz-Pérez MA et al. Impact of multimorbidity: acute morbidity, area of residency and use of health services across the life span in a region of south Europe. BMC Fam Pract. 2014; 15: 55.
Chronic diseases a vital invesrment – World Health Organization. WHO, 2015. (accessed: 10.10.2016).
Musculoskeletal Health in Europe Report v5.0. WHO, 2011. (accessed: 2016.10.10).
Miranda V, de Carvalho V, Machado L, Dias J. Prevalence of chronic musculoskeletal disorders in elderly Brazilians: a systematic review of the literature. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012; 13(1): 82–92.
Cecchi F, Debolini P, Ferrucci L, Lova RM, Macchi C, Bandinelli S et al. Epidemiology of back pain in a representative cohort of Italian persons 65 years of age and older: the InCHIANTI study. Spine. 2006; 31(10): 1149–1155.
Baek S, Lim J, Paik N, et al. Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in an elderly Korean population: Results from the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging (KLoSHA). Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2016; 51(3): 46–51.
Noormohammadpour P, Mansournia MA, Asadi-Lari M, Nourian R, Rostami M, Kordi R. A Subtle Threat to Urban Populations in Developing Countries: Low Back Pain and its Related Risk Factors. Spine. 2016; 41(7):618–627.
Stewart Williams J, Ng N, Peltzer K, Yawson A, Biritwum R, Maximova T et al. Risk Factors and Disability Associated with Low Back Pain in Older Adults in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Results from the WHO Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE). PLoS ONE. 2015; 10(6): e0127880.
Kadam U, Croft P, for the North Sta ff ordshire GP Consortium Group. Clinical multimorbidity and physical function in older adults: a record and health status linkage study in general practice. Fam Pract. 2007; 24: 412–419.
Ansah JP, Malhotra R, Lew N, Chiu C, Chan A, Bayer S, Matchar DB. Projection of young-old and old-old with functional disability: does accounting for the changing educational composition of the elderly population make a difference? Plos One. 2015; 10(5): e0126471.
Adib-Hajbaghery M. Evaluation of old-age disability and related factors among an Iranian elderly population. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal La Revue de Santé de la Méditerranée orientale. EMHJ. 2011; 17(9): 671–678.
Donmez L, Gokkoca Z, Dedeoglu N. Disability and its effects on quality of life among older people living in Antalya city center, Turkey. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2005; 40(2): 213–223.
Picavet HS, Hoeymans N. Physical disability in The Netherlands: prevalence, risk groups and time trends. Publ Health. 2002; 116(4): 231–237.
Rosa TE, Benicio MH, Latorre M, Mdo R, Ramos LR. Determinant factors of functional status among elderly. Rev Saude Publica. 2003; 37(1): 40–48.
Almazán-Isla J, Comín-Comín M, Damián J, Alcalde-Cabero E, Ruiz C, Franco E, Martín G, Larrosa-Montañés LA, de Pedro-Cuesta J; DISCAP-ARAGON Research Group. Analysis of disability using WHODAS 2.0 among the middle-aged and elderly in Cinco Villas, Spain. Disabil Health J. 2014; 7(1): 78–87.
Verhaak P, Dekker J, de Waal M, van Marwijk H, Comijs H. Depression, disability and somatic diseases among elderly. J Affect Dis. 2014; 167: 187–191.
Chen W, Fang Y, Mao F, Hao S, Chen J, Yuan M et al. Assessment of Disability among the Elderly in Xiamen of China: A Representative Sample Survey of 14,292 Older Adults. PLoS One. 2015; 10(6): e0131014.
Holwerda TJ, Beekman AT, Deeg DJ, Stek ML, van Tilburg TG, Visser PJ, et al. Increased risk of mortality associated with social isolation in older men: only when feeling lonely? Results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL). Psychol Med. 2012; 42(4): 843–853.
Avlund K. Disability in old age: Longitudinal population-based studies of the disablement process. Den Med J. 2004; 51(4): 315–349.
Burzynska M, Bryla M, Bryla P, Maniecka-Bryla I. Factors determining the use of social support services among elderly people living in a city environment in Poland. Health Soc Care Community. 2016; 24(6): 758–768.
Główny Urząd Statystyczny. Dochody i warunki życia ludności Polski (raport z badania EU-SILC 2014). GUS. Warszawa, 2015.
Gold CH, Malmberg B, McClearn GE, Pedersen NL, Berg S. Gender and health: a study of older unlike-sex twins. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2002; 57(3): 168–176.
Janssen I, Heymsfield S, Ross R. Low Relative Skeletal Muscle Mass (Sarcopenia) in Older Persons Is Associated with Functional Impairment and Physical Disability. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002; 50(5): 889–896.
Ferrucci L, Baroni M, Ranchelli A, Ruggiero C. Interaction Between Bone and Muscle in Older Persons with Mobility Limitations. Current pharmaceutical design. 2014; 20(19): 3178–3197.
Suuronen J, Sjöblom S, Rikkonen T, Honkanen R, Koivumaa-Honkanen H, Króger H, et al. The relationship of severe health disorders with bone loss, grip strength, and mobility in postmenopausal women – a 15-year follow-up study. Disability & Rehabilitation. 2016; 38(14): 1407–1414.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top