Background: WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) is a feasible tool for assessing functional disability and analysing the risk of institutionalisation among elderly patients with dementia. However, the data for the effect of education on disability status in patients with dementia is lacking. The aim of this large-scale, population-based study was to analyse the effect of education on the disability status of elderly Taiwanese patients with dementia by using WHODAS 2.0. Methods: From the Taiwan Data Bank of Persons with Disability, we enrolled 7698 disabled elderly (older than 65 years) patients diagnosed with dementia between July 2012 and January 2014. According to their education status, we categorised these patients with and without formal education (3849 patients each). We controlled for the demographic variables through propensity score matching. The standardised scores of these patients in the six domains of WHODAS 2.0 were evaluated by certified interviewers. Student's t-test was used for comparing the WHODAS 2.0 scores of patients with dementia in the two aforementioned groups. Poisson regression was applied for analysing the association among all the investigated variables. Results: Patients with formal education had low disability status in the domains of getting along and social participation than did patients without formal education. Poisson regression revealed that standardised scores in all domains of WHODAS 2.0 - except self-care - were associated with education status. Conclusions: This study revealed lower disability status in the WHODAS 2.0 domains of getting along and social participation for patients with dementia with formal education compared with those without formal education. For patients with disability and dementia without formal education, community intervention of social participation should be implemented to maintain better social interaction ability.
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