Social participation is associated with better functionality, health status and educational level in elderly women / A participação social está associada a melhor funcionalidade, estado de saúde e nível educacional em mulheres idosas

Walter Sepúlveda-Loyola, Felipe Ganz, Renata Pires Tricanico Maciel, Rosielma Dos Santos Lopes, Paulo Sérgio Negri, Eladio Mancilla Solorza, Hector González Caro, Vanessa Suziane Probst


Social participation (SP) has been identified as a protective factor for healthy aging. The aim of this study was to examine characteristics associated with social participation in elderly women.  They were allocated 125 older women (aged ≥ 60 years) from Requinoa, Chile into two groups according to the level of SP: socially active (SA) and socially non-active (SNA). Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire, handgrip strength, unipedal stance test, timed up and go test, mini-mental state examination, age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity index, and educational level were assessed. The results indicated that SA women presented lower disability (P<0.001) and better dynamic balance and muscle strength than their SNA peers (P< 0.03 for all). Women who were SA presented less comorbidities (P=0.002) and higher education (P=0.03) compared to SNA. In conclusion, elderly women who are socially active have better functionality, health status and higher educational level than socially non-active.


Social participation; aging; health status; physical function, education, mental health.

Full Text:



Aida, J., Kondo, K., Kawachi, I., Subramanian, S. V, Ichida, Y., Hirai, H., … Watt, R. G. (2013). Does social capital affect the incidence of functional disability in older Japanese? A prospective population-based cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67(1), 42–47.

Alizadeh, S., Mohseni, M., Khanjani, N., & Momenabadi, V. (2014). Correlation between social participation of women and their quality of life in Kerman. Journal of Health Promotion Management, 3(2), 34–42. Retrieved from

Alley, D., & Crimmins, E. (2009). Education and Cognitive Decline in Older Americans: Results From the AHEAD Sample. 29(1), 1–19.

Bourassa, K. J., Memel, M., Woolverton, C., & Sbarra, D. A. (2017). Social participation predicts cognitive functioning in aging adults over time: comparisons with physical health, depression, and physical activity. Aging and Mental Health, 21(2), 133–146.

Campos, A. C. V., Almeida, M. H. M., Campos, G. V., & Bagutchi, T. F. (2016). Prevalence of functional incapacity by gender in elderly people in Brazil: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Rev. Bras. Geriatr. Gerontol., 19(3), 545–559.

Charlson, M., Szatrowski, T. P., Peterson, J., & Gold, J. (1994). Validation of a combined comorbidity index. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 47(11), 1245–1251.

Chiao, C., Weng, L. J., & Botticello, A. L. (2011). Social participation reduces depressive symptoms among older adults: An 18-year longitudinal analysis in Taiwan. BMC Public Health, 11.

Cimarolli, V. R., Boerner, K., Reinhardt, J. P., Horowitz, A., Wahl, H. W., Schilling, O., & Brennan-Ing, M. (2017). A population study of correlates of social participation in older adults with age-related vision loss. Clinical Rehabilitation, 31(1), 115–125.

Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., Baeyens, J. P., Bauer, J. M., Boirie, Y., Cederholm, T., Landi, F., … Zamboni, M. (2010). Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis. Age and Ageing, 39(4), 412–423.

da Silva, E. M., Sepúlveda-Loyola, W., Martins da Silva, J., Castilho dos Santos, G., & Pereira, C. (2019). Comparación entre simple y doble tarea, capacidad cognitiva y equilibrio postural en adultos mayores que participan de 3 modalidades de ejercicio físico. Fisioterapia, (xx).

Douglas, H., Georgiou, A., & Westbrook, J. (2017). Social participation as an indicator of successful aging: An overview of concepts and their associations with health. Australian Health Review, 41(4), 455–462.

Glass, T. A., de Leon, C. M., Marottoli, R. A., & Berkman, L. F. (1999). Population based study of social and productive activities as predictors of survival among elderly Americans. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 319(7208), 478–483. Retrieved from

Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., & Layton, J. B. (2010). Social relationships and mortality risk: A meta-analytic review. PLoS Medicine, 7(7).

Jiménez, D., Lavados, M., Rojas, P., Henríquez, C., Silva, F., & Guillón, M. (2017). Evaluación del minimental abreviado de la evalución funcional del adulto mayor (EFAM) como screening para la detección de demencia en la atención primaria. Revista Medica de Chile, 145, 726–732.

Kavanagh, A. M., Bentley, R., Turrell, G., Broom, D. H., & Subramanian, S. V. (2006). Does gender modify associations between self rated health and the social and economic characteristics of local environments? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 60(6), 490–495.

Loyola, W. S., Camillo, C. A., Torres, C. V., & Probst, V. S. (2017). Effects of an exercise model based on functional circuits in an older population with different levels of social participation. Geriatrics & Gerontology International.

Mancilla S, E., Ramos F, S., & Morales B, P. (2016). Association between handgrip strength and functional performance in Chilean older people. Revista Medica de Chile, 144(5), 598–603.

Mathiowetz, V., Weber, K., Volland, G., & Kashman, N. (1984). Reliability and validity of grip and pinch strength evaluations. The Journal of Hand Surgery, 9(2), 222–226.

MINSAL. (2013).

Muscaritoli, M., S.D. Anker, Aversa, Z., Bauer, J. M., Biolo, G., Boirie, Y., … Sieber, C. C. (2010). Consensus definition of sarcopenia , cachexia and pre-cachexia : Joint document elaborated by Special Interest Groups ( SIG ) ‘“ cachexia-anorexia in chronic wasting diseases ”’ and ‘“ nutrition in geriatrics .”’ Clin Nutr, 29, 154–159.

Pinto, J. M., & Neri, A. L. (2017). Factors related to low social participation in older adults: findings from the Fibra study, Brazil. Cadernos Saúde Coletiva, 25(0), 286–293.

Podsiadlo, D., & Richardson, S. (1991). The timed “Up & Go”: a test of basic functional mobility for frail elderly persons. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 39(2), 142–148. Retrieved from

Richard, L., Gauvin, L., Gosselin, C., & Laforest, S. (2009). Staying connected: neighbourhood correlates of social participation among older adults living in an urban environment in Montréal, Quebec. Health Promotion International, 24(1), 46–57.

Smith, G. L., Banting, L., Eime, R., Sullivan, G. O., & Uffelen, J. G. Z. Van. (2017). The association between social support and physical activity in older adults : a systematic review. 1–21.

Takagi, D., Kondo, K., & Kawachi, I. (2013). Social participation and mental health: moderating effects of gender, social role and rurality. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 701.

Tomioka, K., Kurumatani, N., & Hosoi, H. (2018). Social Participation and Cognitive Decline among Community-dwelling Older Adults: A Community-based Longitudinal Study. Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 73(5), 799–806.

Tuna, H. D., Edeer, A. O., Malkoc, M., & Aksakoglu, G. (2009). Effect of age and physical activity level on functional fitness in older adults. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 6(2), 99–106.

Unger, J. B., McAvay, G., Bruce, M. L., Berkman, L., & Seeman, T. (1999). Variation in the impact of social network characteristics on physical functioning in elderly persons: MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging. The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 54(5), S245-51. Retrieved from

Van Brakel, W. H., Anderson, A. M., Mutatkar, R. K., Bakirtzief, Z., Nicholls, P. G., Raju, M. S., & Das-Pattanayak, R. K. (2006). The Participation Scale: Measuring a key concept in public health. Disability and Rehabilitation, 28(4), 193–203.

Wallace, L. M. K., Theou, O., Pena, F., Rockwood, K., & Andrew, M. K. (2015). Social vulnerability as a predictor of mortality and disability: cross-country differences in the survey of health, aging, and retirement in Europe (SHARE). Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 27(3), 365–372.

White, D. K., Wilson, J. C., & Keysor, J. J. (2011). Measures of adult general functional status: SF-36 Physical Functioning Subscale (PF-10), Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (MHAQ), Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living, Functional Independ. Arthritis Care and Research, 63(SUPPL. 11).

Who. (2001). The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. World Health Organization, 18, 237.

Willie-Tyndale, D., Holder-Nevins, D., Mitchell-Fearon, K., James, K., Laws, H., Waldron, N. K., & Eldemire-Shearer, D. (2016). Participation in Social Activities and the Association with Socio-Demographic and Health-Related Factors among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Jamaica. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 31(4), 427–447.



  • There are currently no refbacks.