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The household arrangements, physical and psychological health of the elderly and their satisfaction with family relationships

Dóris Firmino Rabelo Anita Liberalesso Neri About the authors


The aim of the present study was to analyze the relationship between family configuration, the physical and psychological health conditions of the elderly and their satisfaction with family relationships.


A study was undertaken of 134 older people from the city of Santo Antônio de Jesus, Bahia, without cognitive deficits suggestive of dementia. Cluster analysis was performed by the partition method (three groups).


The majority of the elderly persons were heads of household (72.4%), who contributed to the financial upkeep of their family (total: 49.2%; partially: 44%), lived in multigenerational arrangements (64.9%), had good physical functionality, did not suffer from depression (82.9%) or anxiety (76.9%) and judged their family to have good functionality (85.8%). The variables that most contributed to the formation of clusters were basic activities of daily living (R2=0.725) and family functionality (R2=0.757). Clusters were: 1) elderly persons who needed help to perform instrumental activities of daily living, who suffered from anxiety and were dissatisfied with family relationships; 2) elderly individuals who were dependent for the performance of activities of daily living, who suffered from anxiety and were satisfied with family relationships; 3) independent elderly persons who were satisfied with family relationships.


There were reciprocal relationships between the satisfaction of the elderly individuals with their family relationships and their levels of physical functionality and mental health.

Health of the Elderly; Family Characteristics; Family Health

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