Impacts of Physical Environment Perception on the Frailty Condition in Older People
Frailty increases the vulnerability of older people who commonly develop a syndrome leading to growing dependence and finally often death. Physical environment conditions may affect the severity of the syndrome positive or negatively. The main objective of this study was to analyse the conditions of different urban physical environments and their relationship with the frailty syndrome in older people. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses were performed to detect global and local geographic clustering. Investigating 284 adults with ages from 60 to 74 years old from Talca City, Chile, we found spatial clustering of frailty conditions registered for older people, with hotspots of high and low values associated with areas of different urban infrastructures and socioeconomic levels into the city. The spatial identifications found should facilitate exploring the impact of mental health programmes in communities exposed to disasters like earthquakes, thereby improving their quality of life as well as reducing overall costs. Spatial correlation has a great potential for studying frailty conditions in older people with regard to better understanding the impact of environmental conditions on health.
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