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Abuse, neglect reduce sleep quality in elderly Malaysians

19 Jul 2017

Elderly abuse is associated with poor sleep health in a Malaysian population, as validated by the Malay version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a new study shows.

A total of 1,648 participants (60.2 percent female) were interviewed using the Malay version of the PSQI. Subsequent analysis showed that mean PSQI scores for elderly abuse and neglect (EAN) victims were higher (3.80±1.55) than for those not abused (3.41±1.38).

Of the EAN subtypes, neglect had the highest mean PSQI scores (4.11±1.7) followed by physical abuse (4.10±1.1), psychological abuse (3.96±1.7) and financial abuse (3.60±1.4).

Generalized linear models showed that EAN victims (β, -0.026; 95 percent CI, -0.045 to -0.007; p=0.007), those with chronic diseases (β, -0.010; -0.014 to -0.006; p<0.001), those with lower social support (β, 0.002; 0.001 to 0.004; p=0.030) and those with lower income (β, -0.038; -0.076 to -0.010; p=0.046) had poorer sleep quality.

Of the EAN subtypes, neglect was significantly associated with poor sleep quality (β, 0.05; 0.10 to 0.01; p=0.03).

The overall prevalence of EAN was 8.1 percent (n=133). The most common subtype of abuse was financial abuse, reported in 4.9 percent of the study sample. This was followed by psychological abuse (3.3 percent), physical abuse (1.2 percent), neglect (1.2 percent) and sexual abuse (0.2 percent).

For inclusion, participants had to be at least 60 years of age, Malaysian nationals and able to communicate independently. Those with severe cognitive or hearing impairments were excluded.

The modified Conflict Tactic Scales questionnaire was used to measure EAN while the Malay version of the PSQI was used to measure sleep quality. Sociodemographic, health and psychosocial variables were also included in the analysis.

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