Background: Ageing is a process that converts healthy adults into frail ones with an exponential increase in vulnerability to most diseases and death. It is becoming a social problem, particularly in the rural areas. Women are more likely to live through old age when disabilities and multiple health problems are more common. Elderly women also have psychosocial problems like depression, negligence, isolation, maladjustment, loneliness and frustration. Hence this study was undertaken focusing on rural elderly women.
Objectives: To assess psychosocial factors influencing the rural elderly women and their morbidity status.
Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted in the rural field practice area of Shri B M Patil Medical College, Vijayapura from November 2015 to February 2016. A house-to-house survey was done and all women aged ≥ 60years were included in the study. They were interviewed using pretested & predesigned questionnaire after obtaining informed consent. Information regarding demographic profile, present or past illness, psychosocial history, economic history and physical activity of daily living were collected. Analysis was done using SPSS v.16 and data was represented using proportions and percentages.
Results: Majority of the participants were illiterate (96.4%). Most (83.6%) of them were financially dependent. Around 46.1% of them said they were lonely. Most common chronic illness was arthritis (73.3%) and visual problem (58.8%).
Conclusion: Our study reveals that majority of the elderly women are suffering from psychosocial problems and one or multiple chronic illnesses. There is an urgent need to formulate and develop need-based quality geriatric healthcare services in rural areas.