OBJECTIVES: To determine prevalence and prevalence ratio of functional limitation amongst older people with combined chronic diseases and co-morbid depressive symptoms compared with older people with either chronic disease or depressive symptoms alone.
METHODS: Data were analysed from a cross-sectional study of 765 people aged 60 years and over, conducted from 2007 to 2008 in Malaysia. Chronic diseases were self-reported, depressive symptoms were measured using the Geriatric Depression Scale and functional limitation was assessed using the Tinetti Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment Tool.
RESULTS: A higher proportion of older people with combined chronic diseases and depressive symptoms reported having functional limitation (44.7%) compared with older people with chronic diseases alone (12.5%) and depressive symptoms alone (18.1%). Adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics, cognitive status and living arrangements, chronic diseases were associated with functional limitation (PR 2.21, 95% CI 1.31, 3.72). Depressive symptoms were also associated with functional limitation (PR 2.07, 95% CI 1.56, 2.76). The prevalence ratio for functional limitation was much greater for combined chronic diseases and depressive symptoms (PR 4.09, 95% CI 2.23, 7.51).
CONCLUSIONS: Older people with combined chronic diseases and depressive symptoms are more likely to have functional limitation than those with chronic disease or depressive symptoms alone.
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