The Role of Community Physical Therapy in the Functional Independence and Quality of Life of Elderly Women
Introduction: The elderly population demands special and specific measures focused on the promotion of health and quality of life. The Family Health Support Centers seek to increase the operational scope of the Family Health Strategy through the inclusion of different professionals, including physiotherapists, who develop their activities with the elderly by focusing on educational measures and preventive and health promoting corporal practices.
Objectives: Evaluate the importance of Physical Therapy in the Family Health Support Centers for the functional independence and quality of life of elderly women.
Methodology: Descriptive research with a case control epidemiological base performed in the Family Health Support Centers of the city of Parnaíba/PI. 88 individuals participated in this study, all of them female, of which 46 participated in the Physical Therapy activities (G1) and 42 didn't (G2). Quality of life was measured according to the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) profile for independent elderly, and functionality was analyzed according to the Katz scale. The project was approved by the Ethics Committee for Research of the Universidade Federal do Piauí under the number: 1.087.464. The statistical analyses were performed using the unpaired Student's t test in samples of normal distribution, and using the Mann-Whitney test in samples of non-normal distribution. The normality of groups was analyzed using the Shapiro-Wilk test. The considered level of significance was p≤0,05.
Results: According to the Katz index, a better performance could be observed for G1, where 91.3% (n=42) obtained a score of 6, which means a greater level of independence, when compared to G2, where 61.9% (n=26) obtained a score of 6 and 38.1% (n=16) scores between 5 and 3, indicating moderate dependency. According to the HRQOL questionnaire, G1 had a better perception of health.CONCLUSION: The elderly who participated in the activities proposed by the physical therapists of the Family Health Support Centers had better functionality and health perception indicators.
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