Bourne, Paul A.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Good health status of older and oldest elderly in Jamaica: Are there differences between rural and urban areas?
The Open Geriatric Medicine Journal
Date of Publication
The aim of the current study was to examine the good health status of older and oldest elderly Jamaicans as well as to determine predictors of this health status. A sub-sample of 1,069 respondents (42.4 percent men and 57.6 percent women) who indicated being 75 years and older were used for this study. This is extracted from a larger nationally cross-sectional survey of 25,018 respondents in 2002. The stratified multistage probability sampling technique was used to draw the survey respondents, which reflects the socio-demographic characteristic of the Jamaican population, and makes the sample generalizable on the population. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data from the sample; and the interviewers were trained to collect data. The data were entered, stored and retrieved in SPSS 16.0. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the demographic characteristics of the sample; chi-square was used to investigate non-metric variables, and logistic regression was the multivariate technique chosen to determine predictors of good health status. Two factors were found to be statistically significant predictors of good health status of older and oldest elderly respondents. These were area of residence and sex of respondents. Older and oldest elderly men reported a greater good health status than old and oldest elderly women (OR = 1.410; 95% CI: 1.048-1.897). On the other hand, there was no statistical difference between the self-reported diagnosed (chronic) recurring illness and age cohort of the sample. Rural older and oldest elderly respondents indicated the lowest good health status (OR = 1.00) compared to other residents (urban: OR = 1.670; 95% CI: 1.071-2.606; and other town dwellers: OR = 1.847; 95% CI: 1.327-2.572). Good health of this age cohort is not influenced by income or social standing, and there is a need to examine lifestyle risk factors; disease indicators and psychological conditions, as this may provide more answers to the good health of Jamaicans 75 years and older. A quantitative assessment has provided us with answers, but it is clear from the findings that more information is needed on this age cohort. The researcher recommends the use of qualitative methodologies to provide in-depth understanding of those factors that determine good health of this age cohort.....