Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
OLIVER, Amparo et al. Structural equation model for predicting well-being and functional dependency of the elderly in the Dominican Republic. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.3, pp. 189-196. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892009000900001.
OBJECTIVE: To produce a multivariate structural model that explains functional dependence and well-being in terms of certain related sociodemographic factors among elderly adults in the Dominican Republic. METHODS: A cross-sectional study that surveyed a sample of 1397 individuals 65 or more years of age, representing the Dominican Republic's elderly population. Those surveyed were asked for sociodemographic information (sex, age, level of education, employment status, and income level), data needed to determine their Barthel Index, and responses to questions from Ryff's Scale of Psychological Well-being. Three structural equation models were used to identify relationships among the key variables. RESULTS: The most fitting structural adjustment model linked sociodemographics to the ability to perform basic activities of daily living (BADL) and the Ryff's Scale of Psychological Well-being, without suggesting latent factors. With regard to endogenous variables, the model's predictive power was weak. Age was negatively associated with some areas of well-being and with the ability to perform BADL; sex was related to the area of positive relationships with others; and educational level positively influenced environment, personal growth, and having a sense of purpose, as well as the ability to perform BADL. CONCLUSIONS: The proven models provide information necessary for developing policies aimed at two levels of coordinated action: promoting autonomy among elderly adults and expanding enrollment in formal education programs. These results support efforts to increase investment in social policies.
Keywords : Health of the elderly; quality of life; mathematical models; Dominican Republic.