Estimating paid and unpaid hours of personal assistance services in activities of daily living provided to adults living at home. (1/25)

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the total hours of paid and unpaid personal assistance of daily living provided to adults living at home in the United States using nationally representative household survey data. DATA SOURCES: The Disability Followback Survey of the National Health Interview Survey on Disability (NHIS-D) conducted from 1994 to 1997. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Data were obtained on persons receiving help with up to 5 ADLs and 10 IADLs, for up to 4 helpers, including the activities they helped with, whether the helper was paid or not, and the number of hours of help provided in the two weeks prior to the survey. The sample consists of 8,471 household-resident adults ages 18 and older receiving help with personal assistance. About 22 percent of the sample has missing data on hours, which we impute by multiple regression models using demographic, ADL, and IADL variables. FINDINGS: We estimate that 13.2 million noninstitutionalized adults receive an average of 31.4 hours per week of personal assistance in ADLs and IADLs per week, with 3.2 million people receiving an average of 17.6 hours of paid help and 11.7 million receiving an average of 30.7 hours of unpaid help. More persons ages 18-64 received help than those ages 65 and older (6.9 versus 6.2 million), but working-age recipients had fewer hours (27.4 versus 35.9) per week, due in part to less severe levels of disability. CONCLUSIONS: Personal assistance provided to adults with disabilities amounts to 21.5 billion hours of help per year, with an economic value in 1996 approaching $200 billion. Only 16 percent of this total is paid, representing $32 billion in home health services spent annually. This study, the first to estimate hours of assistance for both working-age and older adults, documents that older persons are more likely to receive paid personal assistance, while working-age people rely to a greater extent on unpaid help. This study begins to articulate the division of labor in the provision of personal assistance. Estimates of paid and unpaid hours of help by number of ADLs should inform policy concerning eligibility boundaries in long term care.  (+info)

Home care aides in the administration of medication. (2/25)

OBJECTIVE: To assess to what extent home care aides (HCAs) within the social services are engaged in medication administration, including their knowledge of how to perform this work correctly, and also to assess their knowledge of pharmacology, adverse drug effects, diseases, and symptoms. Furthermore, we wanted to study if there were any changes to be seen in these areas since a previous study. DESIGN: A repeated survey, carried out in 1998, 5 years after a cross-sectional study. In a stratified sample of personnel within the social services in nine of Malmo's (Sweden) 10 administrative districts, a questionnaire with multiple-choice and open-ended questions was answered individually and under supervision. Statistical analyses were carried out using the chi-square test, except for logistic regression where odds-ratios were presented. STUDY PARTICIPANTS: Employees (341) within the social services in the municipality of Malmo, of whom 313 were HCAs and 28 were supervisors, most of whom also were HCAs, at a total of 36 workplaces. The study 5 years earlier included 393 employees, of whom 39 were supervisors and 354 were HCAs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Where possible, the answers in the knowledge test were classified as 'correct', 'partially correct' or 'erroneous', or were assigned to the group 'do not know/have not answered'. RESULTS: Most (95%) of the HCAs were engaged in medication administration. On average, 53% managed to give a correct or partially correct answer on questions concerning medication administration. The result concerning indications for common drugs was 55%, contra-indications and adverse drug effects 25%, and symptoms 59%. Some general improvements in knowledge were seen from 1993 to 1998, mostly in the area of medication administration, but the results also indicated a change for the worse in the area of indications for common drugs. CONCLUSIONS: Although most HCAs are engaged in medication administration, to a great extent they lack knowledge in the area. There is a need for additional personnel with the appropriate professional background, i.e. registered nurses, and a need for further training of HCAs in order to ensure patient safety. With respect to this, issues of learning and quality improvement are discussed.  (+info)

Seeing, thinking and acting against Malaria: a new approach to health worker training for community empowerment in rural Gambia. (3/25)

CONTEXT: In the Gambia, West Africa, Malaria is a major cause of death among children in rural areas. It has been estimated that in one division in the country malaria accounts for 40% of all deaths in children aged between one and 4 years. Most malaria cases are managed at home assisted by primary healthcare workers. The strategic plan of Gambia's National Malaria Control Programme includes improved training and supervision of all health care providers, at all levels, and increased community awareness in order to reduce the malaria burden by 50% before 2007. ISSUE: A malaria in-service training program for Community Health Nurses (CHNs) working at village level was piloted in 2004. The program includes a computer-based training (CBT) package, the first of its kind for health professionals in Gambia. The education program is part of a larger initiative funded by the Gates Malaria Partnership, that aims to increase community involvement in malaria control. The objective of the course is to enable CHNs to facilitate the change process. The curriculum was informed by a reference group and stakeholder input. Interviews and evaluation forms were used to gather information about learner experience and learning preferences. ANALYSIS: The CBT package was well received. Learners reported wanting more computer instruction, but felt they had gained confidence. There was resistance from other health professionals regarding the development of information technology skills in CHNs. This related to the perceived role and status of CHNs, as well as confidence in their ability. Some modifications of the CBT package were necessary, including the reworking of some activities and language. LESSONS LEARNED: There are issues related to sustainability and resource implications that need to be addressed. Opportunities exist to expand e-learning in the Gambia for pre-service CHNs and other professionals. An investigation into the viability of reproducing this module as a generic planning tool for allied health workers and other extension workers at community level will be undertaken.  (+info)

The personal assistance workforce: trends in supply and demand. (4/25)

The workforce providing noninstitutional personal assistance and home health services tripled between 1989 and 2004, according to U.S. survey data, growing at a much faster rate than the population needing such services. During the same period, Medicaid spending for such services increased dramatically, while both workforce size and spending for similar services in institutional settings remained relatively stable. Low wage levels for personal assistance workers, which have fallen behind those of comparable occupations; scarce health benefits; and high job turnover rates highlight the need for greater attention to ensuring a stable and well-trained workforce to meet growing demand.  (+info)

Financing of pediatric home health care. Committee on Child Health Financing, Section on Home Care, American Academy of Pediatrics. (5/25)

In certain situations, home health care has been shown to be a cost-effective alternative to inpatient hospital care. National health expenditures reveal that pediatric home health costs totaled $5.3 billion in 2000. Medicaid is the major payer for pediatric home health care (77%), followed by other public sources (22%). Private health insurance and families each paid less than 1% of pediatric home health expenses. The most important factors affecting access to home health care are the inadequate supply of clinicians and ancillary personnel, shortages of home health nurses with pediatric expertise, inadequate payment, and restrictive insurance and managed care policies. Many children must stay in the NICU, PICU, and other pediatric wards and intermediate care areas at a much higher cost because of inadequate pediatric home health care services. The main financing problem pertaining to Medicaid is low payment to home health agencies at rates that are insufficient to provide beneficiaries access to home health services. Although home care services may be a covered benefit under private health plans, most do not cover private-duty nursing (83%), home health aides (45%), or home physical, occupational, or speech therapy (33%) and/or impose visit or monetary limits or caps. To advocate for improvements in financing of pediatric home health care, the American Academy of Pediatrics has developed several recommendations for public policy makers, federal and state Medicaid offices, private insurers, managed care plans, Title V officials, and home health care professionals. These recommendations will improve licensing, payment, coverage, and research related to pediatric home health services.  (+info)

Patterns and predictors of home health and hospice use by older adults with cancer. (6/25)

OBJECTIVES: To describe patterns of home health and hospice use by older cancer patients and a comparison group of older persons without cancer. To identify predictors of home care and hospice utilization. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare Database, a linkage of the SEER Program of the National Cancer Institute (an epidemiological surveillance system of population-based tumor registries) and Medicare Claims. SETTING: The SEER data used in this paper cover a service area that includes approximately 14% of the U.S. population, including the states of Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, and New Mexico and the metropolitan areas of Detroit, San Francisco-Oakland, Atlanta, Seattle-Puget Sound, Los Angeles County, and San Jose-Monterey. PARTICIPANTS: Five analytical samples were drawn. The first consisted of all cases with a diagnosis of cancer in 1997 to 1999 who were eligible for services in calendar year 1999 (n=120,072). The second and third were subsamples of these and consisted of cases with a new cancer diagnosis in 1999 (n=46,373) and cases who died in 1999 (n=41,483). The fourth consisted of a comparison sample without cancer (n=160,707). The fifth was a subsample of this and consisted of those who died in 1999 (n=6,639). MEASUREMENTS: Utilization rates of home health and hospice services. RESULTS: Twenty-nine percent of cancer patients used home health services, and 10.7% used hospice services, compared with 7.8% of noncancer patients who used home health and less than 1% who used hospice. Half (51.4%) of cancer patients who used home health did not have cancer listed as an admitting diagnosis for the use of those services. Home health utilization was lowest for unmarried men. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to evaluate community-based home health and hospice utilization by older cancer patients. Future studies must begin to address what constitutes appropriate utilization.  (+info)

Self-reported chair-rise ability relates to stair-climbing readiness of total knee arthroplasty patients: a pilot study. (7/25)

Following total knee arthroplasty (TKA), physical therapists must evaluate patient readiness to safely begin stair-climbing. Physical therapists might find self-reported chair-rise ability useful in determining stair-climbing readiness of patients. We grouped 31 subjects who were at approximately 3.6 weeks post-TKA by chair-rise ability (group 1 = "Because of my knee, I can only rise from a chair if I use my hands and arms to assist," group 2 = "I have pain when rising from the seated position, but it does not affect my ability to rise from the seated position," and group 3 = "My knee does not affect my ability to rise from a chair"). Next, we determined time of stair-climbing ascent and descent, number of chair rises in 30 seconds, isokinetic quadriceps femoris and hamstring muscle group strength, and self-reported knee function survey scores. Groups 3 and 2 descended stairs more quickly than group 1; group 3 displayed greater involved and noninvolved knee extensor torque per body weight than group 1 or 2 and had superior self-reported knee function scores than group 1. Patient perception of chair-rise ability at approximately 3.6 weeks post-TKA is useful in helping physical therapists determine patient readiness to safely begin stair-climbing.  (+info)

Employers, home support workers and elderly clients: identifying key issues in delivery and receipt of home support. (8/25)

The Nexus Home Care Project examines the experiences of employers, home support workers and elderly clients and their family members in the delivery and receipt of home support services. The primary purpose of this research is to identify salient issues in the delivery and receipt of home support services to elderly individuals from the perspective of employers, home support workers and clients. The data for this study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, are derived from in-depth interviews with home support employers (n=11), home support workers (n=32) and elderly clients (n=14) in British Columbia. Employers emphasized recruitment and retention and the increasing complexity of client needs, and raised questions regarding the appropriateness of home support as a part of the healthcare continuum. Home support workers stressed scheduling and time demands, the tension in providing intimate ongoing care at an emotional distance and the balance between tasks outlined in the care plan and the needs and wants of elderly clients. Elderly clients indicated an ongoing need to prepare for and manage services and expressed a need for companionship. Findings are discussed as they inform and extend our understanding of the key tensions in home support. Strategies for addressing these tensions are also identified.  (+info)