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Research projects

At the University of Cape Town

Testing the WHO Age-friendly Primary Health Care Toolkit to improve care for older patients.

Management of older patients with multi-morbidity at primary health care centres in South Africa is suboptimal and could be improved. The study aims to improve health and quality of life of older patients through improved primary health care assessments, and management of medical and social conditions. A clinical tool is being tested to guide efficacious patient management.

Investigators: Sebastiana Kalula (PI), with Drs Mosedi Namane, Tsepo Motsohi and Mumtaz Abbas (Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town)


Health literacy and HIV prevention in persons aged ≥50 in South Africa. 

Research on HIV/AIDS has largely focused on infants and adults younger than 50 years. The study is identifying factors that promote and inhibit HIV/AIDS prevention practices in  persons aged >-50 years in South Africa and Lesotho.

Investigators: Sebastiana Kalula (PI) and Tarryn Blouws, with Maseabata Ramatheban (Department of Pharmacology, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho).


Mortality in older adults admitted to Groote Schuur hospital medical wards: A review of the hospital database. 

Little is known of the mortality rate and causes of death in hospitalised older patients in sub-Saharan Africa. The study determined the mortality rate, causes of mortality and associated factors in this population in medical wards of Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town over a three-year period.  The knowledge yielded can inform policy to improve health and health service provision to older patients generally. 

Investigators: Sebastiana Kalula (PI), with Dr Lawrence Adebusoye and Chief Tony Anenih (Geriatric Centre, University of Ibadan, Nigeria)


Use of physical restraints in the management of patients in a tertiary hospital. 

The study was conducted at Groote Schuur Hospital, towards formulating a management policy. The results highlighted a need to develop policy to guide the use of this type of patient management. 

Investigators: Sebastiana Kalula and Sabela Petros


Assessment of the “age-friendliness” of the City of Cape Town. 

The study assessed older residents’ perceptions of the “age-friendliness” of the City of Cape Town, within the context of the community in which they reside. Results showed the impact of their perceptions and lived experience on the residents’ quality of life. Recommendations were made to policy makers and planners, and civil society on how modifications to features of the city may improve the age-friendliness of the structural and social environment, and enable older residents to continue to engage with and contribute to society.

Investigators: Sebastiana Kalula and Tarryn Blouws