Morbidity, psycho-social profile and health seeking behavior of the elderly population in urban slums of Davangere City, India

Shubha Davalagi B, Navinkumar Angadi, Mahabalaraju DK


Background: The proportion of older persons has been rising steadily. Population ageing is becoming a major concern both in the developed and developing countries. Rapid urbanization and modernization of society has brought in its wake a breakdown in family values and the framework of family support, social isolation and elderly abuse leading to a host of morbidity including psychological problems among elderly population. Objectives: 1) To assess the morbidity pattern of the elderly people in urban slums. 2) To know the psycho-social profile of the elderly people in urban slums. 3) To assess the health seeking behaviour of elderly population.

Methods: Study was cross sectional study conducted in slums of Davangere city, for duration of three months. Study population was 60 years and older residents of urban slums. Study was carried out by interview and clinical examination of the study subjects by using pre-designed, pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. Data was entered in Microsoft excel and presented as frequency and proportions.

Results: Out of 180 elderly persons, 23% were males and 77% were females.44% of them lived in joint families. The most prevalent morbidity was musculoskeletal problem (46%) followed by psychosocial problem (31%), respiratory problems (23%), cataract (19%) and ear problems (19%). 57% of elderly said they were not socially active and 43% had an unfavorable attitude towards life. Majority of the elderly utilized government health care facilities for their treatment for both acute and chronic illness. The elderly population had financial constraint and lack of accessibility in seeking health care.

Conclusions: The study has highlighted high prevalence of morbidity among elderly in urban slums. As there is rapid increase in number of elderly, there is an urgent need to develop affordable and accessible geriatric health care services.



Morbidity, Psychosocial profile, Health seeking behavior, Elderly

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