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Original article

Vol. 141 No. 1718 (2011)

Gender-related ADL performance of old people recently admitted to a Swiss nursing home

  • E Bürge
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2011;141:w13183


QUESTIONS UNDER STUDY: The aim of this paper was to establish gender-specific associations between the characteristics of residents recently admitted to Swiss nursing homes (NH) and their activities of daily living (ADL) performance.

METHODS: A sample of 17’331 NH residents living in 90 Swiss NHs received a Resident Assessment Instrument Minimum Data Set (RAI-MDS) shortly after NH entry, in the period from 1997 to 2007. ADL performance was assessed using the MDS-ADL long-form scale that measures self-performance in the seven following tasks: bed mobility, transfer, locomotion, dressing, eating, toilet use and personal hygiene. Associations between ADL performance and health and personal characteristics of the residents were then investigated using bivariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS: A total of 40% of the residents recently admitted to Swiss NHs were completely dependent for ADL. Absence of physical activity and having been admitted to a NH before 2003 were gender-specific variables associated with poorer ADL. Incontinence, poor balance, impaired cognition and vision as well as low BMI were important factors associated with poorer ADL performance in both genders.

CONCLUSION: The general scheme of ADL impairment was quite similar for both genders, but females tended to do slightly but significantly better than males. Overall, strategies improving balance, continence, cognition and sensory function including treatment of vision impairment, promoting healthy nutrition as well as physical activity – particularly among elderly women with musculoskeletal conditions – may facilitate care in recently admitted residents and/or delay NH admission.


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