Health and wellbeing of indigenous older adults living in the tea gardens of Bangladesh

Rahman, F.N., Khan, Hafiz T.A. ORCID:, Hossain, M.U. and Iwuagwu, A.O. (2021) Health and wellbeing of indigenous older adults living in the tea gardens of Bangladesh. Plos One.

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There are currently 1.5 million indigenous people in Bangladesh, constituting 1.8% of the total population and representing one of the country’s most deprived communities. This study explores the health status and quality of life along with their determinants among indigenous older people in Bangladesh in order to fill the knowledge and evidence gap on this topic.

A mixed-methods approach was deployed in October 2019 in the Sylhet division of Bangladesh which involved a cross-sectional survey among 400 indigenous older adults (200 males, 200 females) from 8 tea gardens using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. Ten in-depth interviews were also conducted with providers of the tea garden health facilities. Descriptive analysis, multiple logistic and multi-nominal linear regression were performed to explore associated factors around health and quality of life.

Of the total respondents, the majority (79.5%) had chronic diseases, with visual difficulty being predominant (74%) among the conditions. Almost all (94%) of the respondents experienced delays in receiving treatment and poverty was identified by most (85%) as the primary cause of those delays. Extreme age, being male, living alone and low family income were significantly associated with suffering from chronic conditions. Furthermore, having a chronic condition and extreme age were found to be significantly associated with a low quality of life. Health service providers identified lack of logistical support in the health facilities, the economic crisis and lack of awareness as the major causes of poor health status and poor health seeking behaviour of the indigenous older adults.

Indigenous older men in extreme old age are more vulnerable to adverse health conditions and poor quality of life. Health literacy and health seeking behaviour is poor among indigenous older adults generally and there is a huge gap in the health services and social supports available to them.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247957
Additional Information: © 2021 Rahman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Citation: Rahman FN, Khan HTA, Hossain MJ, Iwuagwu AO (2021) Health and wellbeing of indigenous older adults living in the tea gardens of Bangladesh. PLoS ONE 16(3): e0247957.
Keywords: Elderly, Indigenous populations, Quality of life, Tea, Bangladesh, Health education and awareness, Health care facilities, Morbidity
Subjects: Medicine and health > Health promotion and public health
Medicine and health
Social sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Hafiz T.A. Khan
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2021 20:16
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:05


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