Sensory impairment and quality of life in a community elderly population

C. Carabellese, I. Appollonio, R. Rozzini, A. Bianchetti, G. B. Frisoni, L. Frattola, M. Trabucchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine the association between quality of life measures and sensory impairment in aged individuals living at home. Design: Survey. Setting: A community survey, carried out in the historical center of a town in Northern Italy. Patients: 1191 non-institutionalized elders (age 70-75 years). Measurements: Comprehensive QOL questionnaire, free-field voice testing, and Snellen eye chart. Results: Single sensory impairments (either visual or auditory) were significantly and independently associated with increased risk for depression (odds ratio: 2.3, 95% confidence interval: 1.5- 3.4; OR:1.8, CI:1.1-2.7, respectively) and decreased self-sufficiency in daily living activities (OR:1.7, CI:1.1-2.6; OR:2.1, CI:1.4-3.2, respectively). Visual dysfunction, but not hearing dysfunction, was independently associated with lower social relationships (OR:2.0, CI:1.3- 3.1). Conclusion: The quality of life of community-dwelling elderly people is significantly linked to sensory impairment, which can be detected through simple physical examination. Mood level and social relationships are particularly affected by visual impairment, whereas self-sufficiency in daily living is more strongly related to hearing impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-407
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume41
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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