This study compares self-reported Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) status among elderly survivors of the 2003 Bam Earthquake before, two months after, and five years after the event, and explores related determinants.
A two-stage cluster survey was conducted on 210 elderly survivors in the earthquake-stricken area five years after the event.
Both ADL and IADL scores decreased two months after earthquake compared to prior status (p <0.001). No differences were observed between two months and five years after the event (p >0.05). Access to medical services were not related to level of ADL or IADL (p = 0.52 and p = 0.74, respectively). Elderly survivors with lower functional capability in terms of ADL experienced more problems in access to relief items (p = 0.04), but no similar association was found for IADL (p = 0.26).
The Bam earthquake adversely affected functional capacity of the elderly. Disaster responders must take into account functional capacity of elders when planning for medical and relief operations.