Prevalence of and factors associated with homebound status among adults in urban and rural Spanish populations.

BMC Public Health

PubMedID: 27422021

Negrón-Blanco L, de Pedro-Cuesta J, Almazán J, Rodríguez-Blázquez C, Franco E, Damián J, DISCAP-ARAGON Research Group. Prevalence of and factors associated with homebound status among adults in urban and rural Spanish populations. BMC Public Health. 2016;16574.
BACKGROUND
There is a marked growth in the number of homebound older adults, due mainly to increased life expectancy. Although this group has special characteristics and needs, it has not been properly studied. This study thus aimed to measure the prevalence of homebound status in a community-dwelling population, and its association with both socio-demographic, medical and functional characteristics and the use of health care and social services.

METHODS
We used instruments coming under the WHO International Classification of Functioning (ICF) framework to carry out a cross-sectional study on populations aged 50 years and over in the province of Zaragoza (Spain), covering a total of 1622 participants. Persons who reported severe or extreme difficulty in getting out of the house in the last 30 days were deemed to be homebound. We studied associations between homebound status and several relevant variables in a group of 790 subjects who tested positive to the WHODAS-12 disability screening tool.

RESULTS
Prevalence of homebound status was 9.8 % (95 % CI: 8.4 to 11.3 %). Homebound participants tended to be older, female and display a lower educational level, a higher number of diseases, poorer cognition and a higher degree of disability. In fully adjusted models including disability as measured with the ICF-Checklist, the associated variables (odds ratios and [95 % confidence intervals]) were: female gender (3.75 [2.10-6.68]); urban population (2.36 [1.30-4.29]); WHODAS-12 disability (6.27 [2.56-15.40]); depressive symptoms (2.95 [1.86-4.68]); moderate pain (2.37 [1.30-4.31] and severe pain (3.03 [1.31-7.01]), as compared to the group with no/mild pain; hospital admissions in the previous 3 months (2.98 [1.25-7.11]); and diabetes (1.87 [1.03-3.41]). Adjustment for ICF-Checklist disability had a notable impact on most associations.

CONCLUSIONS
The study shows that homebound status is a common problem in our setting, and that being disabled is its main determinant. Socio-demographic characteristics, barriers and chronic diseases can also be assumed to be playing a role in the onset of this condition, indicating the need for further research, including longitudinal studies on its incidence and associated factors.