Common physical problems among the elderly in the Livingstone district in Zambia: opportunities for physiotherapists

  • Pasmore Malambo
  • Margaret Marais


Introduction: The study identified prevalent physical problems with regard to physiotherapy needs in elderly
people in the Livingstone District in Zambia.
Objectives: To identify the physiotherapy needs of common physical problems in the elderly.
Methods: A cross-sectional study design, utilising a quantitative research method and a convenience sampling
Participants: A total of 200 elderly people from the age of 60 years
Setting: Livingstone District in Zambia
Intervention: A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data.
Results: The most common self-reported physical problems identified were musculoskeletal problems, physical
inactivity, decreased ability to walk and the need for walking aids. Hypertension was a common cardiovascular
Conclusion: Physiotherapists are ideally suited to alleviate the discomfort, activity limitation and participation
restriction associated with ageing.