Introduction Cognitive impairment is one of the commonest mental health problems in the elderly. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of cognitive impairment in the elderly (age >60 years) population in Karachi, Pakistan and to determine the association between social support and cognitive impairment in this group.
Methods A population based cross sectional study of the elderly in Karachi Pakistan was carried out between November 2010 and March 2011. Participants were randomly recruited in 30 clusters from 18 towns in Karachi using a multi-stage cluster sampling technique. Face-to-Face interviews were conducted with 730 eligible participants using structured questionnaires. The prevalence of cognitive impairment was assessed through Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). For illiterate participants cognitive impairment was defined as a score of <21; for literate <23. Data analysis is underway using SPSS 16. Logistic regression analysis will be used to determine the association between social support and cognitive impairment.
Results This study is currently in progress. We anticipate that prevalence of cognitive impairment will be higher and will be attributable to the social support received by the elderly.
Conclusion Conclusion will be based on the results of this study. However, we suggest that the younger generation should be sensitised towards their responsibilities for the elderly and the government should also formulate effective health policies for this group. Further, longitudinal studies should be planned to identify other factors that are associated with cognitive impairment in the elderly.
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