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DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

The case collection started from July 1984 and lasted upto October 31st, 1986. The Geriatric Clinic functioned from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. everyday-. The PHC Medical Officers, paramedical personnel and the housesurgeons attached to the PHC participated in the running of the Clinic. The project staff visited not only the main PHC, but also its sub-centres on the appointed days in the week regularly. The probands were registered following the reference from the PHC staff to the Geriatric Clinic at the PHC and also during the field visits by the project staff accompanying the PHC Mobile team of medical officers and multi purpose health workers at the sub-centres. A total of 1910 subjects aged 60 + were registered and they formed the material for the study. The relevant data in respect of the material are offered in brief below. They pertained to socio-demography (Age, sex, marital status, education, occupation, monthly income, caste and Socio-economic status), Clinical (Screening Schedule findings and clinical Diagnosis) and data in psycho social sectors (Family Jointness, Family Integration, Living Status and Social Integration).

DATA IN BRIEF (N = 1910)

SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC

There was a preponderance of females (N = 1246) over the males (N = 664) in the ratio of 1.9 : 1. Among the females 70.9% were widowed (N = 883) and 25.4% were living with their spouses (N = 317) while among males 28.2% were widowed (N = 187) and 67.6% were living with their spouses (N = 449). Those aged between 60 and 69 years (young old) formed nearly 80% of the material (N = 1524) with those between 70-79 (old old) contributing to 18% (N = 350). Thirty-six (1.9%) fell in the group 80-99. Five were between 90-95. The youngest age encountered in both sexes was 60 while the oldest ones were 95 and 90 for males and females respectively. However social workers came across a woman reported to be more than 100 years old but died recently. Literacywise, 79.5% were 'illiterate' (N = 1521), while 17.4% (N = 334) have had primary school education. One had college education. Nearly 48% of the subjects (N = 925) were agricultural workers/land owners and 16.2% were employed in some gainful occupation or other (N = 309). Six hundred and seventy-six (35.4%) were unemployed. Also 49.2% of the subjects (N = 190) aged 70 + and 236 housewives were found to be unemployed. Some were found to be begging too. Castewise, 1795 subjects (94%) belonged to Backward/Schedule Caste category according to the Govt. of Tamil Nadu classification. This is due to the fact that the area surveyed is a 'Reserved Assembly Constituency' segment for the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. The social-economic status of the sample revealed 1355 (71%) belonging to Grade IV and 376 (20%) to Grade V.

CLINICAL

The rank order of frequency of occurrence of symptoms/signs on the screening schedule is given in Table 3.

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