Progressive disability in elderly population among tribals of Telangana: A cross sectional study

Ajitha Katta, Anil Kumar Indira Krishna, B. Bagavandas, Tomofumi Anegawa, Suresh Munuswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The tribal population of Telangana, India, lives in remote and difficult conditions. This study was carried out to find out estimate, the prevalence and progression of disability in elderly population among tribals of Khammam District, Telangana state, India. Methods: A population based cross sectional survey was conducted in villages of Tribal Sub Plan area. Elderly people who are 60 years or older were chosen with a two stage sampling procedure: (1) probability proportion to size was used to select clusters and (2) in each selected cluster households were selected by systematic random sampling. The participants were interviewed with the 36 item Telugu version of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0) questionnaire. Socio- demographic information, behavioral measurements, health and social benefit indicators were also assessed. Descriptive analytical methods were used for prevalence estimation and logistic regression was used to examine the associations of progressive age over disability among elderly. Results: A total of 506 elderly people from 1349 households in 20 villages across 31mandals of Khammam were interviewed. Majority of elderly population among tribals were illiterate (men 88.94%; women 99.33%), used tobacco (men 81.25%; women 57.72%), consumed alcohol (men 80.77%; women 47.32%) and were hypertensive (men 53.85%; women 63.42%). The prevalence of disability was higher in women. Maximum disability in the interviewed elderly population was seen in domains of performing house hold activities, and mobility. In comparison with men, women expressed more disability for majority of domains. As age progressed, the disability for self-care domain increased to a maximum of 2.6 times in men and 6.6 times in women and for mobility domain increased to a maximum of 9.7 times in men and 7.2 times in women. Conclusions: Although present disability modifying mobility Assistive Devices (AD) can help elderly in overcoming disability, these are primarily designed for built environments. As the needs, cultural sensitivities, and living environment of elderly population in tribals are unique, newer innovative assistive devices should be designed and developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 19


  • Disability
  • Elderly
  • India
  • Progressive
  • Telangana
  • Tribal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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