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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2005 Feb;20(2):160-7.

Physical health, depression and cognitive function as correlates of disability in an older Korean population.

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Department of Psychiatry & Research Institute of Medical Science, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Republic of Korea.



The World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHODAS II) measures functioning and disability in concordance with the bio-psycho-social model of the WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. Our objectives were to investigate the independent associations of physical health, depression and cognitive function with WHODAS II disability in an older Korean population.


The WHODAS II was administered to a community sample of 1204 residents age 65 or over. Data on demographic characteristics (age, gender, living area, marital state, and religion), socio-economic state (education, type of accommodation, number of rooms, previous occupation, current employment, monthly income), social support, number of physical illness, depression (GMS), and cognitive function (MMSE) was gathered. A subsample (n = 746) received a clinical examination for dementia.


Scores on the WHODAS II were significantly and independently associated with worse physical health, depression, and lower cognitive function. Associations with other factors were no longer apparent after adjustment for these. These associations persisted in the absence of dementia. In participants with dementia (n = 110), WHODAS II scores were principally associated with physical health and accommodation type.


Level of disability, as measured by the WHODAS II, was principally associated with physical health, depression and cognitive function, rather than socio-demographic factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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