Quality of life of elderly quilombolas in the Brazilian northeast

Abstract Objective: To evaluate the quality of life (QoL) of elderly quilombolas (residents of quilombo settlements first established by escaped slaves) in mixed urban and rural residential developments (agrovilas) in Alcântara, Maranhão, Brazil. Method: An observational, cross-sectional and descriptive study was performed. The sample consisted of 129 elderly people of both genders, aged 60 years or older and living in northeastern Brazil. The sample was allocated into three groups, distributed according to geographic space. Quality of life was assessed using the WHOQoL-Bref instrument and a sociodemographic questionnaire was applied. The comparison between groups was carried out using the Anova test (one-way) and subsequently the Bonferroni Post-Hoc test. The correlation was obtained by the Pearson test, p<0.05. Results: Elderly quilombolas had a mean age of 69.7 years (±7.9) and were predominantly men with low income and schooling. Quality of life had higher scores in the social domain (values) and lower in the environmental domain (values). Quality of life as measured by the psychological domain was higher in group I than in groups II (p=0.012) and III (p=0.002). The facets of QoL correlated with facets of health for group I (r=0.357; p=0.032) and III (r=0.461; p<0.001). Conclusion: The situation of the quilombola population surveyed is considered vulnerable and psychological factors influence QoL.