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Short-term Trends in Functional Limitation and Disability Among Older Asians: A Comparison of Five Asian Settings

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Abstract

The objective of this paper is to examine short-term trends in the prevalence of limitation in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) and Nagi physical functioning tasks among persons age 60 years or older in five Asian settings: Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and the Beijing Municipality. The data come from recent panel surveys of older adults that span a period of 3–4 years during the mid to late 1990s. Results suggest a general trend toward an increase in functional limitation in four of the five settings, with the most pronounced increases occurring for the Nagi functioning tasks. Compositional differences in the population accounted for little of the increase. The paper discusses the potential implications of these results and places them in the context of past and current trends in functional limitation observed in the United States.

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Acknowledgments

This research was undertaken as part of the Comparative Study of Health Transitions in Later Life, supported by parallel grants from the National Institute on Aging, R01 AG20072-01 and R01 AG20063-01. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Washington, DC, November 2004. We wish to thank the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their excellent comments and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Mary Beth Ofstedal.

Appendix

Appendix

Table VII

Table VII Design Features of Asian Longitudinal Surveys
Table VIII ADL, IADL and Nagi Activities Included in Each Survey
Table IX Question Wording for ADL, IADL and Nagi Survey Measures

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Ofstedal, M.B., Zimmer, Z., Hermalin, A.I. et al. Short-term Trends in Functional Limitation and Disability Among Older Asians: A Comparison of Five Asian Settings. J Cross Cult Gerontol 22, 243–261 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-006-9025-z

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