Physical performance of elderly peoples living in hostel and care-and-attention home in Hong Kong

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Physical performance of elderly peoples living in hostel and care-and-attention home in Hong Kong


Author: Lo, Tak-man
Title: Physical performance of elderly peoples living in hostel and care-and-attention home in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2001
Subject: Older people -- Institutional care -- China -- Hong Kong
Motor ability -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xi, 103 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The study first established the core tasks which are essential to and difficult to be performed by elderly residents living in hostels and care-and-attention homes in Hong Kong. Four focus group interviews followed by individual structured interview with questionnaire were conducted with a total of 19 elderly residents. All interviews were audio-taped and content analysis were done. Seventeen core tasks were identified and were primarily activities of self-care and basic mobility. Instrumental ADL was not found to be essential by most of the elderly residents in our study. 'Laundry' and 'use of public transport' were the only two activities identified which were related to home management and community living. A significant difference was found in the 'essentialness' rating on activities such as 'trimming nails', 'washing and hanging cloth', 'opening overhead locker', and 'stair walking', between residents in hostel and in C & A home. These differences could be best explained by the discrepancies in the physical environments and the mandated services provided in the two types of institutions. The effect of culture, cohort and institutional policy in modifying the task was illustrated by the ratings on "essentialness". This model of person-environment congruence is especially significant to the understanding of the task demand of elderly living in institution, which should be observed by frontline clinicians, administrators and policy makers. In the second part of the study, expert panel review with six experienced physiotherapists was done to explore the construct and its components of physical performance of the elderly people. A consensal definition for physical performance as 'the performance of physical function of the body' was obtained. A total of 4 domains were identified which include 'balance/ posture', 'functional mobility', 'upper limb action' and 'hand function'. Critical components of physical performance of the elderly resident's task performance were identified through a task analysis process of the 17 core tasks. Each analysis was done by 14 physiotherapists experienced in the geriatric rehabilitation. The proposed critical components thereby obtained were matched with that of the 4 clinical instruments commonly adopted for measuring physical performance of elderly people. Results shown that all four instruments were focused on the 'balance / posture' and 'functional mobility' domain. Among them, the Elderly Mobility scale was found to have a more comprehensive coverage in the 'functional mobility' domain, whereas the Berg's Balance test document most of the critical components under the domain of 'balance / posture'. None of the instruments include test items under the domains of 'upper limb function' and 'hand function'. It is advisable for rehabilitation professionals working with the elderly client to adopt instruments that cover a more comprehensive construct of physical performance, such as the Rueben's Physical Performance test which has shown to have a good match of most of the critical components identified in the 4 domains. The adoption of a combination of clinical instruments may help accommodate for this insufficiency in the present situation. Further studies on this area were recommended.

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