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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 792-797

Profile of elderly attending a general practice clinic in a poor urban area: A cross-sectional study from South India


1 Department of Community Health and Development, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Family Medicine, Low Cost Effective Care Unit-Practice Unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dimple Madhukar Jamkhandi
Department of Community Health and Development, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 002, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.201172

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Introduction: In India, the number of elderly is steadily increasing and is likely to reach 301 million by 2051. The increasing number and proportion of elderly will have a direct impact on the demand for health and pension services. As per the Demography of Indian Aging (Rajan et al.), information on morbidity profile of this population is essential to plan health-care facilities. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was designed to study the morbidity profile of 100 elderly persons reporting to the outpatient clinic of a family practice unit of a tertiary care center in South India between June 2008 and May 2010. This was done with a view to plan better services for the elderly in that area. Results: In this study, 88% of the participants were on a follow-up while new ailment(s) were diagnosed in 11 participants. A majority of participants were illiterate (62%), unemployed (83%), and financially dependent (54%). Forty-four participants screened had depression that required intervention such as counseling and follow-up; in ten participants, the screening score was sufficient to warrant therapy. In nearly half of the participants, the musculoskeletal system was involved, and a significant number had the involvement of cardiorespiratory system and urinary incontinence. Conclusion: A large number of elderly are affected by a constellation of conditions including mental as well social issues. A family practice unit may be a good setup to provide the first-contact care for the diagnosis and management of common problems in the elderly and help to improve their quality of life.


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