Health and needs assessment of geriatric patients: Results of a survey at a Teaching Hospital in Karachi

Syed Nabeel Zafar, Hammad Ashraf Ganatra, Sarah Tehseen, Waris Qidwai

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To study the health and needs of geriatric patients Methods: A questionnaire based survey of patients visiting the out-patient department of Aga Khan University was carried out. Ethical requirements were met and included administration of informed consent and provision of confidentiality to patients. Convenience sampling was used without any randomization for interviews. Epi-info and SPSS software were used for data management. Results: Four hundred and two (402) subjects above the age of 65 were surveyed. Most of the subjects were retired (40.5%) married (76.4%) men (69.7%). Ages ranged from 65 to 90 years, the mean being 70.57 years and 291 (72.4%) had five or more health problems. Mobility impairment, urinary incontinence, dyspnoea, fatigue and visual impairment had the worst impact on the life of the individual. Hypertension (42.5%), diabetes mellitus (28.1%) and arthritis (26.6%) were the most commonly reported chronic ailments. Two hundred and three (50.5%) respondents were taking three or more different medications daily. A large number of people had religion (61.4%), reading (36.1%), socializing (53%) and watching television (49.5%) as a regular activity. Eighty five (21.1%) respondents reported having financial problems. Three hundred and sixty five (90.8%) respondents had spiritual needs and 264 (72.3%) reported that their spiritual needs increased with aging. Conclusion: We documented health and needs of the elderly population which need to be taken into account by practicing family physicians, social service workers and also the policy makers of the country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-474
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


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