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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 181--189

Social determinants of quality of elderly life in a rural setting of India

1 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, Wardha, India

Correspondence Address:
Amol R Dongre
Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.105688

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Objective: The aim of this study is to understand the social determinants of quality of elderly life in rural central India and describe their perspectives on various issues related to their quality of life. Materials and Methods: It was a community-based mixed-methods study in which quantitative (survey) method was followed by qualitative (Focus Group Discussion, FGD). The study was done in field practice area of a Rural Health Training Centre. We decided to interview all the elderly (>60 years) in two feasibly selected wards of village Anji by using the "WHO-Quality of Life (WHOQOL)-brief questionnaire." We used WHOQOL syntax for the calculation of mean values of four domains. Following survey, four FGDs were carried out. Results: The determinants of perceived physical health, amenable for intervention were their currently working status, not being neglected by the family, and involvement in social activities. The determinants for psychological support were health insurance, and their current working status. The determinants for social relations were membership in social group and their present working status. The determinants for perceived environment were membership in social groups and relationship with the family members. In qualitative research, factors such as active life, social activity, spirituality, health care, involvement in decision making, and welfare schemes by the Government were found to contribute to better quality of elderly life. Problems or conflicts in family environment, lack of shelter and financial security, overtapped resources, and gender bias add to negative feelings in old age life. Conclusions: There is a need for intervention at social and family level for elderly friendly environment at home and community level.


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Online since 1st October '05
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