Common physical problems among the elderly in the Livingstone district in Zambia: opportunities for physiotherapists
Marais, Margaret R.
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INTRODUCTION: The study identified prevalent physical problems with regard to physiotherapy needs in elderly people in the Livingstone District in Zambia. OBJECTIVES: To identify the physiotherapy needs of common physical problems in the elderly. METHODS: A cross-sectional study design, utilising a quantitative research method and a convenience sampling technique. Participants: A total of 200 elderly people from the age of 60 years SETTING: Livingstone District in Zambia INTERVENTION: A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. RESULTS: The most common self-reported physical problems identified were musculoskeletal problems, physical inactivity, decreased ability to walk and the need for walking aids. Hypertension was a common cardiovascular disorder. CONCLUSION: Physiotherapists are ideally suited to alleviate the discomfort, activity limitation and participation restriction associated with ageing.