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(1/1026) Prevalence and treatment of pain in older adults in nursing homes and other long-term care institutions: a systematic review.

BACKGROUND: The high prevalence of pain in older adults and its impact in this age group make it a public health issue, yet few studies of pain relief focus on older adults. Residents of long-term care facilities have more cognitive impairment than their community-living counterparts and may have difficulty reporting the presence and severity of pain. This systematic literature review was conducted to determine the prevalence of pain, and the type and effectiveness of interventions that have been used to treat pain in residents of nursing homes. METHODS: Studies were identified by searching MEDLINE (from January 1966 to May 1997), HEALTH (from January 1975 to May 1997), CINAHL (from January 1982 to April 1997), AGELINE (from January 1978 to April 1997) and the Cochrane Library (1997, issue 1) and by performing a manual search of textbooks and reference lists. Studies of any methodological design were included if they estimated the prevalence of pain in nursing homes or other long-term care institutions or evaluated interventions for the treatment of pain in residents. Of the 14 eligible studies, 12 were noncomparative studies, 1 was a comparison study with nonrandomized contemporaneous controls, and 1 was a randomized controlled trial. Information on several factors was extracted from each study, including study design, number of patients and facilities, main outcomes measured, methods used to identify and detect pain, prevalence and types of pain, and interventions used to treat pain. The strength of the evidence provided by each study was also assessed. RESULTS: In the 6 studies with data from self-reporting or chart reviews, the prevalence of pain ranged from 49% to 83%. In the 5 studies with data on analgesic use only, the prevalence of pain ranged from 27% to 44%. Only 3 studies, with just 30 patients in total, evaluated an intervention for the treatment of pain. INTERPRETATION: Despite the high prevalence of pain in residents of nursing homes, there is a lack of studies evaluating interventions to relieve their pain. The authors make recommendations for future studies in this area.  (+info)

(2/1026) Pap screening clinics with native women in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii. Need for innovation.

PROBLEM ADDRESSED: First Nations women in British Columbia, especially elders, are underscreened for cancer of the cervix compared with the general population and are much more likely to die of the disease than other women. OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: To develop a pilot program, in consultation with community representatives, to address the Pap screening needs of First Nations women 40 years and older on a rural reserve. MAIN COMPONENTS OF PROGRAM: Identification of key links to the population; consultation with the community to design an outreach process; identification of underscreened women; implementation of community Pap screening clinics; evaluation of the pilot program. CONCLUSIONS: We developed a Pap screening outreach program that marked a departure from the usual screening approach in the community. First Nations community health representatives were key links for the process that involved family physicians and office staff at a local clinic on a rural reserve. Participation rate for the pilot program was 48%, resulting in an increase of 15% over the previously recorded screening rate for this population. More screening clinics of this type and evaluation for sustainability are proposed.  (+info)

(3/1026) The changing elderly population and future health care needs.

The impending growth of the elderly population requires both fiscal and substantive changes in Medicare and Medicaid that are responsive to cost issues and to changing patterns of need. More emphasis is required on chronic disease management, on meaningful integration between acute and long-term care services, and on improved coordination between Medicare and Medicaid initiatives. This paper reviews various trends, including the growth in managed-care approaches, experience with social health maintenance organizations and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly demonstrations, and the need for a coherent long-term care policy. Such policies, however, transcend health care and require a broad range of community initiatives.  (+info)

(4/1026) Systematic review of day hospital care for elderly people. The Day Hospital Group.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effectiveness of day hospital attendance in prolonging independent living for elderly people. DESIGN: Systematic review of 12 controlled clinical trials (available by January 1997) comparing day hospital care with comprehensive care (five trials), domiciliary care (four trials), or no comprehensive care (three trials). SUBJECTS: 2867 elderly people. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Death, institutionalisation, disability, global "poor outcome," and use of resources. RESULTS: Overall, there was no significant difference between day hospitals and alternative services for death, disability, or use of resources. However, compared with subjects receiving no comprehensive care, patients attending day hospitals had a lower odds of death or "poor" outcome (0.72, 95% confidence interval 0.53 to 0.99; P<0.05) and functional deterioration (0.61, 0.38 to 0.97; P<0.05). The day hospital group showed trends towards reductions in hospital bed use and placement in institutional care. Eight trials reported treatment costs, six of which reported that day hospital attendance was more expensive than other care, although only two analyses took into account cost of long term care. CONCLUSIONS: Day hospital care seems to be an effective service for elderly people who need rehabilitation but may have no clear advantage over other comprehensive care. Methodological problems limit these conclusions, and further randomised trials are justifiable.  (+info)

(5/1026) Direct costs of coronary artery bypass grafting in patients aged 65 years or more and those under age 65.

BACKGROUND: Over the past 20 years, there have been marked increases in rates of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) among older people in Canada. The objectives of this study were to accurately estimate the direct medical costs of CABG in older patients (age 65 years or more) and to compare CABG costs for this age group with those for patients less than 65 years of age. METHODS: Direct medical costs were estimated from a sample of 205 older and 202 younger patients with triple-vessel or left main coronary artery disease who underwent isolated CABG at The Toronto Hospital, a tertiary care university-affiliated hospital, between Apr. 1, 1991, and Mar. 31, 1992. Costs are expressed in 1992 Canadian dollars from a third-party payer perspective. RESULTS: The mean costs of CABG in older and younger patients respectively were $16,500 and $15,600 for elective, uncomplicated cases, $23,200 and $19,200 for nonelective, uncomplicated cases, $29,200 and $20,300 for elective, complicated cases, and $33,600 and $23,700 for nonelective, complicated cases. Age remained a significant determinant of costs after adjustment for severity of heart disease and for comorbidity. Between 59% and 91% of the cost difference between older and younger patients was accounted for by higher intensive care unit and ward costs. INTERPRETATION: CABG was more costly in older people, especially in complicated cases, even after an attempt to adjust for severity of disease and comorbidity. Future studies should attempt to identify modifiable factors that contribute to longer intensive care and ward stays for older patients.  (+info)

(6/1026) A survey of attitudes and knowledge of geriatricians to driving in elderly patients.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the attitudes of consultant members of the British Geriatrics Society to elderly patients driving motor vehicles. DESIGN: An anonymous postal survey assessing knowledge and attitudes to driving in elderly people. A standardized questionnaire was used and five case histories were offered for interpretation. SETTING: The study was co-ordinated from a teaching hospital. SUBJECTS: The 709 consultant members of the British Geriatrics Society. Four hundred and eighteen responses were obtained, which represents a 59% response rate. RESULTS: 275 Respondents (68%) correctly realised that a person aged 70 had a duty to inform the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) about their eligibility to drive. The remainder did not. Most (315; 75%) believed that the overall responsibility for informing the DVLA was with the patient. If a patient was incapable of understanding advice on driving because of advanced dementia, 346 (83%) would breach patient confidentiality and inform the authority directly. Where a patient was fully capable of understanding medical advice but ignored it, 72% of geriatricians would have legitimately breached patient confidentiality and informed the DVLA. Most geriatricians (88%) saw their main role as one of providing advice on driving to patients and their families. Enforcing DVLA regulations was not seen as an appropriate function, unless the patient was a danger to themselves or other drivers. CONCLUSIONS: There is a wide variation in knowledge of driving regulations and attitudes to driving in elderly patients. Better education of geriatricians should improve awareness of when elderly drivers can safely continue to drive.  (+info)

(7/1026) A national survey of health-service use in Thai elders.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the pattern of health-service use and associated factors among elderly people in Thailand. DESIGN: A cross-sectional multi-stage random sampling household survey. SUBJECTS: 4480 People aged 60 and over. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Responses to illness among elderly Thai subjects and health-service utilization. RESULTS: Of 1954 elderly Thai subjects who reported that they had had an illness without hospitalization during the last month, 93% had sought treatment and 7% did nothing. Just over a half (52.8%) used health services. Subjects who had self-limiting symptoms or diseases tended to not use health services, while subjects with chronic conditions did. Sixty-two percent paid for treatment themselves while 28% of them had their bills paid by their children. Independent determinants of health-service use included living in a rural area, being well-educated and better off, not drinking alcohol and the severity of illness identified. CONCLUSIONS: We found a low rate of state health-service use. Children had an important role in taking care of parents.  (+info)

(8/1026) Integrating healthcare for older populations.

The complex array of needs posed by older adults has frequently produced fragmentation of care in traditional fee-for-service systems. Integration of care components in newer health systems will maximize patient benefits and organizational efficiency. This article outlines the major issues involved in integration of care for older populations. A health system must integrate its care of older adults in many ways: among providers, both in primary care and specialty services; with community-based sources of care; and across sites of care (clinic, hospital, emergency department, and nursing home). Integrating reimbursement structures for various services will serve to create a client-oriented system, as opposed to a finance-centered system, thereby enhancing coordination of care. The extent to which two experimental comprehensive systems, PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care of the Elderly) and SHMO II (Social Health Maintenance Organization), have achieved clinical and financial integration are discussed in detail. Healthcare organizations are encouraged to create integrated models of care and to study the effects of integration on patient outcomes.  (+info)