Religiosity, physical and functional health in older people in Chile
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To establish the association between different dimensions of religiosity - organizational, non-organizational, and intrinsic - and indicators of physical and functional health in older people in Chile.
Data from the Fifth Survey on Quality of Life in Old Age 2019 were used. Descriptive and explanatory analyses were performed using logistic, linear and multinomial regression models, with dependent variables being self-perception of health, functional dependence, number of chronic diseases, and perception of health compared with other people of the same age. As predictors, indicators of the three dimensions of religiosity (DUREL Scale) were included, additionally controlling for the MOS-SS Social Support Scale, Apgar Family Functioning Scale, educational level, gender, age, and marital status.
Almost a third of older Chileans attend religious services frequently, and half of them pray frequently. On a range of 1 to 5, the mean intrinsic religiosity is 3.94. 46% perceive their health to be good/very good and about half perceive their health to be better than their peers. From 0 to 5, the mean number of chronic diseases is 1.69. 6% are classified as functionally dependent. The only significant relationship observed was between religious attendance and a lower probability of presenting functional dependency; on the other hand, praying increases such probabilities, as well as a relationship between attendance and a better perception of health in comparison with other people of the same age.
Organizational religiosity is a psychosocial resource that is positively associated with the process of successful aging
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