The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

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Disability and quality of life among community elderly with dizziness: report from the Ibadan Study of Ageing

A O Lasisia1 c1 and O Gurejea2

a1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

a2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Abstract

Background: Dizziness is prevalent among the elderly. However, little is known about its impact on quality of life and disability, especially in developing countries, where the number of elderly people is increasing.

Aim: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of disability, and the quality of life, among elderly persons with dizziness living in the community.

Setting and design: Longitudinal cohort study of dizziness among elderly persons (i.e. aged 65 years and over) residing in Yoruba-speaking areas of Nigeria.

Method: Face-to-face interviews with respondents selected using a multi-stage, stratified area probability sampling of households. Dizziness was based on self-reporting and health-related quality of life was measured using the brief version of the World Health Organization quality of life assessment.

Result: Dizziness was reported and confirmed in 318/1281 elderly respondents, a prevalence of 24.8 per cent. Respondents comprised 197 (61.9 per cent) women and 121 (38.1 per cent) men. Thirty-nine respondents (12.3 per cent) were aged 65–69 years, 91 (28.6 per cent) 70–74 years, 66 (20.8 per cent) 75–79 years and 122 (38.4 per cent) ≥80 years. The prevalence of disability in activities of daily living was 29.56 per cent, and that of disability in instrumental activities of daily living 10.1 per cent. The influence of gender was not significant. The prevalence of disability in activities of daily living (p = 0.00) and in instrumental activities of daily living (p = 0.00) increased significantly with age. Univariate analysis revealed that disability in activities of daily living (p = 0.00), disability in instrumental activities of daily living (p = 0.01), poor family interaction (p = 0.00), poor community involvement (p = 0.00), overall poor health (p = 0.00), current depression (p = 0.01), and difficulty with sedentary (p = 0.00) and vigorous (p = 0.00) activities were significantly more common among elderly respondents with dizziness, compared with non-dizzy elderly respondents. In contrast, cognitive impairment (p = 0.05) was not significantly correlated. The probabilities of the occurrence of difficulty with vigorous or sedentary mobility in our elderly respondents were 2.6 and 1.9, respectively, compared with non-dizzy elderly respondents. Similarly, the probabilities of the occurrence of disability in activities of daily living, current depression and dementia were 1.6 each. Logistic regression analyses for age, sex, medical conditions and presence of disability confirmed that dizziness was significantly associated with worsened cognition. Similarly, dizziness was significantly associated with reduced total quality of life (p = 0.00), and also with reductions in the physical (p = 0.00), psychological (p = 0.00) and environmental (p = 0.00) domains of the research instrument.

Conclusion: Among elderly people with dizziness, there was a high prevalence of significant disability requiring assistance. In addition, dizziness alone significantly reduced these individual's overall total quality of life, and their quality of life as regards physical, psychological and environmental parameters. This information will assist policy planning for the elderly.

(Accepted January 04 2010)

(Online publication March 23 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr A O Lasisi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, PO Box 22040, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. E-mail: akeemlasisi@gmail.com

Footnotes

Dr A O Lasisi takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper.

Competing interests: None declared

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