Background: Functional disability, a gradual decline in ability to perform major day to day activities is a major health issue in late life generating concerns all over the world. The function of the environment and inherent characteristics in older adults play a major role in determining the gradual and eventual effect of this decline. Previous studies had established the prevalence and associating co morbid factors of functional disability among the older population but very few studies explored the influence of psychological and environmental factors on functional disability in older adults.
Method: The study is a cross sectional study with population comprising of consenting male and female patients aged sixty-five years and above who present at the Chief Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre within the stipulated time frame for the study. A total of one hundred and fifty-eight respondents who consented to participating were selected for the study. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting older adults aged 65 years and over for the study. Reconstructed questionnaire was used in obtaining information regarding demographic characteristics, living arrangements and background of the participants. Standardized questionnaires which were pretested on another sample of participants were used in obtaining participant’s functional disability status, environmental and psychological factors predicting functional disability.
Results: Data was subjected to Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) showing the relationships between variables. The regression analysis presented the joint contribution of psychological and environmental factors on functional disability. Environmental and psychological factors each had significant relationship with functional disability at (r=-0.393, n=158, p (0.000) <0.05) and (r=-0.682, n=158, p (0.000) <0.05) respectively. The relationship between the environmental and psychological factors was also significant at (r=0.538, n=158, p (0.000) <0.05). The combined effect of the independent variables on functional disability with a coefficient multiple correlations R=0.68 and a multiple R2 of 0.0466 was also significant signifying that 46.6% of the variance was accounted for by the two predictor variables when taken together. The relative influence of the variables expressed as beta weights, viz: Psychological factors (β= -0.662, p<0.05), and Environmental factors (β= -0.037, p>0.05) on functional disability was also significant.
Conclusion: The study established relationships and influence of psychological and environment on the development of functional disability in older adults, thereby adding to already existing literature on functional disability in older adults. This is to further advance research on the well-being and general wellness of older adults in Nigeria and the world as a whole. The study can be adopted for further studies and in clinical practice.
Published Date: 2020-09-04; Received Date: 2020-08-16