Original articles

Non-communicable disease burden and quality of life of selected group of older people in Galle, Sri Lanka



Introduction: Chronic ill health due to non-communicable diseases have already posed a great threat to the well-being of older people in Sri Lanka impairing their quality of life to a greater extent. This study was aimed to examine the impact of some chronic disease conditions on quality of life (QOL) of older people in Galle, Sri Lanka.


Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 70 older people (male=21, female=49) aged 60 years. Validated self-reported version of World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire which measures QOL in four dimensions; physical, psychological, environmental and social was used to assess the QOL.


Results: The age range of the participants was 60-90 years (mean = 70.3 years, SD = 6.2 years). Of the total, 41 subjects were living with their spouse and 22 were widowed. Visual impairment (67%), hypertension (47%) and arthritis (34%) were the most prevalent chronic diseases reported. QOL mean scores for all the four domains which measured in a 1 - 100 scale were all higher than 65 for both men and women. Further, mean scores of QOL in all the domains in both sexes were found to be low among those who were suffering from chronic conditions, although significant differences were found in physical and psychological domains between those with and without cardiovascular diseases and hypertension (p < 0.1).


Conclusions: QOL of older people in Galle is relatively higher compared to the QOL of community dwelling older people in many other countries. Although NCDs and other chronic conditions are prevalent in this study population, cultural and environmental factors may have contributed to improve the QOL of this population group.


Older people. NCDsQuality of lifeSri Lanka
  • Year: 2019
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 5-10
  • DOI: 10.4038/gmj.v24i2.7993
  • Published on 8 Oct 2019
  • Peer Reviewed