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Nicholas Li Jie Cheah 1 Article
The prevalence of functional disability and its impact on older adults in the ASEAN region: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Phei Nie Yau, Clairen Jia Ern Foo, Nicholas Li Jie Cheah, Kar Foong Tang, Shaun Wen Huey Lee
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022058.   Published online July 12, 2022
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Functional disability is a common consequence of the ageing process and can lead to poor health outcomes due to the inability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) independently. However, the prevalence of functional disability among older adults in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region is poorly documented. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of functional disability and its impact on older adults in the ASEAN region.
A systematic literature search was performed on 4 databases from inception until March 2021 to identify studies examining individuals aged 60 years and above reporting functional disabilities in the ASEAN region. Information on the prevalence and impact of functional disability was extracted, assessed for bias, summarised, and analysed using a random-effects meta-analysis.
Thirty-four studies with 59,944 participants were included. The pooled prevalence of ADL disability was 21.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.2 to 27.3) and that of IADL disability was 46.8% (95% CI, 35.5 to 58.3). Subgroup analyses showed higher prevalence among those of advanced age and women. Adverse impacts included increased years of life with disability and poor health-related quality of life.
Nearly a quarter of the older adult population in the ASEAN region experience functional disability. These findings highlight the need for further research on the burden and impact of functional disability within this region to allow decision-makers to gauge the severity of the issue, develop policies to reduce the risk of developing functional disabilities, and foster healthy ageing.
Key Message
Highly common and disabling among older adults in ASEAN region, functional disability limits the ability to carry out activities of daily living, and markedly reduces life quality.


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