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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 369894, 13 pages
Research Article

Prevalence and Correlates of Physical Disability and Functional Limitation among Elderly Rural Population in Nigeria

1Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, College of Medicine, University of Ilorin, 240001 Ilorin, Nigeria
2Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, 240001 Ilorin, Nigeria
3Department of Community Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, 600235 Maiduguri, Nigeria

Received 17 December 2010; Revised 27 February 2011; Accepted 12 April 2011

Academic Editor: Steven Hooker

Copyright © 2011 I. S. Abdulraheem et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The number of people surviving into old age is increasing, and it has now become a global phenomenon. Studies on the prevalence and correlates of physical disability and functional limitation among elderly Nigerians are scanty. Methodology. This is a community-based cross-sectional study conducted in 3 local government areas (LGAs) in Nigeria, using a multistage sampling technique. Functional limitations of 1824 elderly persons were tested using Tinetti performance-oriented mobility assessment tool (TPOMAT) and self-reported activities of daily living (ADL). ADL disability of ten, six, and five basic items were compared. Results. The prevalence ratios (PRs) of physical disability using the ten, six, and five basic ADL items were 28.3 (95% CI 25.2–31. 5), 15.7 (95% CI 13.4–19.8), and 12.1 (95% CI 9.8–15.3), respectively, while functional limitation was 22.5 (95% CI 18.1–24.4). Increased risk of disability was independently associated with female gender PR 3.6 (95% CI 1.5–7.4), advanced age ≥75 years; PR 22.2 (95% CI 14.5, 36.8), arthritis PR 3.7 (95% CI 2.6–4.6), stroke PR 4.8 (95% CI 3.7–7.9) and diabetes PR 6.1 (95% CI 4.3–7.1). Conclusions. The findings from this study are pointers to unmet needs of the elderly disabled Nigerians.