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The Prediction of Mortality by Disability Among Dutch Community-Dwelling Older People

Authors Gobbens RJJ, van der Ploeg T

Received 11 July 2020

Accepted for publication 9 August 2020

Published 5 October 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1897—1906


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Robbert JJ Gobbens,1– 3 Tjeerd van der Ploeg4

1Faculty of Health, Sports and Social Work, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 2Zonnehuisgroep Amstelland, Amstelveen, the Netherlands; 3Department of Primary and Interdisciplinary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; 4Faculty of Engineering, Design and Computer Technology, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Alkmaar, the Netherlands

Correspondence: Robbert JJ Gobbens
Faculty of Health, Sports and Social Work, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, De Boelelaan 1109, Amsterdam 1081 HV, the Netherlands
Tel +31 6 21115578

Objective: To predict mortality by disability in a sample of 479 Dutch community-dwelling people aged 75 years or older.
Methods: A longitudinal study was carried out using a follow-up of seven years. The Groningen Activity Restriction Scale (GARS), a self-reported questionnaire with good psychometric properties, was used for data collection about total disability, disability in activities in daily living (ADL) and disability in instrumental activities in daily living (IADL). The mortality dates were provided by the municipality of Roosendaal (a city in the Netherlands). For analyses of survival, we used Kaplan–Meier analyses and Cox regression analyses to calculate hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results: All three disability variables (total, ADL and IADL) predicted mortality, unadjusted and adjusted for age and gender. The unadjusted HRs for total, ADL and IADL disability were 1.054 (95%-CI: [1.039;1.069]), 1.091 (95%-CI: [1.062;1.121]) and 1.106 (95%-CI: [1.077;1.135]) with p-values < 0.001, respectively. The AUCs were < 0.7, ranging from 0.630 (ADL) to 0.668 (IADL). Multivariate analyses including all 18 disability items revealed that only “Do the shopping” predicted mortality. In addition, multivariate analyses focusing on 11 ADL items and 7 IADL items separately showed that only the ADL item “Get around in the house” and the IADL item “Do the shopping” significantly predicted mortality.
Conclusion: Disability predicted mortality in a seven years follow-up among Dutch community-dwelling older people. It is important that healthcare professionals are aware of disability at early stages, so they can intervene swiftly, efficiently and effectively, to maintain or enhance the quality of life of older people.

Keywords: disability, mortality, community-dwelling older people, activities of daily living

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