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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


SUAREZ GARCIA, Francisco et al. Factors associated with hospitalization use and appropriateness for patients over 64 years of age. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2001, vol.75, n.3, pp.237-248. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: Some social, medical or functional aspects are associated with a greater use of health care resources, although this does not necessarily imply an inappropriate usage of the same. The aim of this research is that of ascertaining the influence of health condition on hospital stays and inappropriate stays among the population over 64 years of age. Methods: A cohort representative of the population over age 64 in the Judicial District of Toledo (n=3214) whose health condition had been previously evaluated was studied over an eighteen-month period identifying the income and length of stays at the public hospitals, the appropriateness of which was evaluated by the Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol. Associations analyzed were those of the cohort socio-demographic characteristics, health condition-related variables and morbidity with frequency and hospitalization rates and with inappropriate stays and admissions. Results: During the 18 months of study 410 individuals were hospitalized, who generated 546 admissions (frequency rate=17.0 admissions/100 rooms) and 7015 stay days (hospitalization rate = 218.3 stays/100 rooms). 18.9% of the admissions and 49.9% of the stays were evaluated as inappropriate. Hospitalization was associated with a worse health condition, institutionalization, male sex, certain pathologies and previous health services usage. Patients characteristics were not associated with the percentage of inappropriate stays. 97.5% of inappropriate stays were attributed to hospital scheduling problems and physicians’ practices. Conclusions: Socio-demographic factors, morbidity, health condition and previous health service usage are shown as good hospitalization predictors for senior citizens, but these factors are not related to inappropriate hospitalization usage.

Keywords : Hospital utilization; Inappropiate utilization; Health status; Old people.

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