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Original Research Articles

Utilization of health services by the elderly and their health status in a health division in Sri Lanka

Authors:

A. Balasuriya ,

National Institute of Health Sciences, Kalutara, LK
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S. A. P. Gnanissara

Ministry of Health, LK
About S. A. P.
Former Deputy Director General of Education, Research and Training
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Abstract

Objectives: To assess the health status and the extent of utilization of health services by the elderly in the Divisional Director of Health Services area Beruwala in the district of Kalutara in Sri Lanka

 

Methodology: A community based descriptive study of 426 non-institutionalized elderly aged 60 years and above was done. A pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to assess health care utilization of a stratified sample.

 

Results: Only 17.8% were old-old while the majority (59.9%) were females. Mean number of years of schooling for males was one year more than that for females. More widows than widowers were present, Thirteen percent of the elders did not have a caregiver. Five percent of the elderly had a severe mental illness, Considerable dependence on Physical and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living was seen, there was a high level of utilization of health services.

 

Eighty-five percent of the chronically ill elderly preferred government or private allopathic medical treatment while for acute illnesses preference was 71.8%. The place of self-care for acute illnesses was evident while the preference for Ayurveda treatment for both chronic and acute illnesses was about 13%.

 

Conclusion and recommendations: There is notable morbidity among the elderly. Though the majority preferred allopathic medical treatment for chronic and acute illnesses, some preferred Ayurveda treatment, Self-care was also evident.
How to Cite: Balasuriya, A. and Gnanissara, S.A.P., 2001. Utilization of health services by the elderly and their health status in a health division in Sri Lanka. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 6(1), pp.30–33. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v6i1.8293
Published on 28 Dec 2001.
Peer Reviewed

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