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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111


DAMIAN, Javier; VALDERRAMA-GAMA, Emiliana; RODRIGUEZ-ARTALEJO, Fernando  y  MARTIN-MORENO, José María. Health and functional status among elderly individuals living in nursing homes in Madrid. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, n.4, pp.268-274. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: Epidemiologic studies on probabilistic samples of the institutionalized elderly in Spain are very scarce. The aim of this study was to describe the health and functional status of a population of older people living in nursing homes. Subjects and method: A cross-sectional epidemiologic study was carried out. A sample of 800 subjects living in 19 public and 26 private nursing homes in Madrid was obtained through a stratified cluster method. Residents, main caregivers, doctors and nurses were interviewed. Cognitive status, perceived health, depression, pain, functional capacity, chronic illnesses, pressure ulcers, urinary and fecal incontinence, drug consumption and hospitalizations were assessed. Results: Seventy-five percent of the sample were women. The mean age was 83.4 (standard deviation, 7.3) years. Forty-four percent had some degree of cognitive impairment. Forty-six percent were independent or mildly dependent in basic activities of daily living. Fifty-five percent reported very good or good perceived health. Thirty percent had depressive symptoms. Thirty-one percent had experienced daily pain in the previous 7 days. Three percent had pressure ulcers. The most prevalent illnesses were hypertension (45%), osteoarthritis (34%), dementia (33%) and anxiety (27%). The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease was 14%. Fifty-three percent had urinary incontinence and 26% had fecal incontinence. Twenty-six percent had been transferred to an emergency unit in the previous year. Conclusions: The estimates of the main variables, such as cognitive impairment and functional status, were in general more favorable than those in other populations of nursing home residents in Europe and North America. This is partly explained by the greater proportion of persons with a low need for care in the nursing homes in Madrid.

Palabras clave : Nursing homes; Aged; Epidemiology.

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