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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


DIEZ, Elia et al. Evaluation of a community program to reduce isolation in older people due to architectural barriers. Gac Sanit [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.5, pp.386-388. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: Social isolation impairs health. An intervention to reduce isolation due to architectural barriers in elderly persons was carried out in Barcelona (Spain). This study aimed to evaluate its effects on health. Methods: We conducted a quasi-experimental before-after study. Isolated older people were identified in three deprived urban areas from 2009 to 2011. Participants had twice-weekly outings with volunteers in a stair-climbing power wheelchair. User satisfaction was evaluated and perceived health status, quality of life, and mental health before and after four outings were compared with McNemar tests. Results: There were 74 participants (median age: 83 years; IQR: 78-89). Perceived health improved by 21%, mental health by 24%, and psychological distress was reduced by 16%. Most participants (98%) were satisfied. Conclusion: The intervention improved perceived health and mental health. Elderly people with impaired mobility should not live in buildings with architectural barriers and, if this cannot be avoided, similar programs should be implemented.

Keywords : Aged; Accessibility; Social isolation; Community health services; Health promotion.

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