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J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2017 Oct/Dec;40(4):214-222. doi: 10.1519/JPT.0000000000000101.

Activity Limitations in Brazilian Institutionalized Older Adults.

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1Graduate Program in Collective Health, Odontology Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Lagoa Nova, Natal-RN, Brazil. 2Physiotherapy Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Campus Universitário, Natal-RN, Brazil. 3Health Science College of Trairi (FACISA), Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Santa Cruz-RN, Brazil. 4Collective Health Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Campus Universitário, Lagoa Nova, Natal-RN, Brazil.



Although functional assessments and programs to prevent activity limitations are fundamental for efficient geriatric evaluations and interventions, these procedures have not been satisfactorily explored at nursing homes in Brazil. Literature is scarce on the evaluation of disability in Brazilian institutionalized older people.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in 10 nursing homes in the city of Natal (Northeast Brazil). Sociodemographic and health data were collected and activity limitations were assessed by the Katz Index.


The prevalence of activity limitations was 72.9% (95% confidence interval: 67.8-77.5) and the most affected activity was "bathing" (71.6%), followed by "dressing" (65.4%) and "toileting" (62.0%). The final model revealed associations with private (for-profit) institutions (odds ratio [OR] = 3.33; P < .001), age ≥ 83 years (OR = 2.34; P = .003), institutionalization due to lack of caregiver (OR = 1.80; P = .033), and presence of osteoporosis (OR = 2.94; P = .045), adjusted by sex.


Activity limitations affected almost 73% of institutionalized older people in this sample and were associated with private nursing homes, age, osteoporosis, and institutionalization due to lack of caregiver. Activity limitations exact high socioeconomic impacts and affect the quality of life of older people. The results obtained herein emphasized the importance of planning strategies for their prevention and treatment, directed to reduce the prevalence of this health issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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