Online Program

Functional independence of community dwelling older adults in China and South Korea

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:42 a.m. - 8:54 a.m.

E. Othelia Lee, Ph D, Department of Social Work, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Qingwen Xu, Graduate School of Social Work, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Purpose of the Study: Population aging is occurring at an unprecedented pace worldwide. This study was designed to identify potential protective and risk factors for functional independence of community dwelling older people in China and South Korea, and to understand the role that culture socioeconomic political context play in older people's functional independence. Design and Methods: A secondary analysis was conducted on data from a sample of community dwelling adults aged 65 to 79 drawn from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey 2005 (n=4,898) and the Korean Longitudinal Study on Aging 2006 (n=4,152). Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to assess the contribution of sociodemographics, chronic health conditions, cognition, lifestyles, and social engagements to elders' functional limitations. Results: These Chinese and South Korean older adults shared certain common factors in maintaining functional independence in their communities; controlling for sociodemographic factors, absence of diseases and higher cognition scores were the strongest and most consistent determinants of functional independence in both countries. Urban residence and outdoor activity were strong factors for Chinese older adults; for their South Korean peers, gender, employment status, drinking and exercise were important determinants. Implications: The findings from this study suggested that contextual differences affect older people's lifestyles and functional status. The implications for aging policies and programs were discussed.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
identify potential protective and risk factors for functional independence of community dwelling older people in China and South Korea

Keyword(s): International Health, Asian and Pacific Islander

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple grants focusing on the community services and healthy aging. My scientific interest has been the development of strategies for health promotion for older adults.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.