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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


ITURRIA SIERRA, José Antonio  y  MARQUEZ CALDERON, Soledad. Health and social services: needs, preferences and their use by the elderly following hospitalisation. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.71, n.3, pp.281-291. ISSN 2173-9110.

BACKGROUND: Many processes behind the admission to hospital of elderly people can lead to a deterioration in their health at the time of discharge. The aims of the study are to assess the dependency on and need for socio-health care required by elderly people aged over 64 when discharged from a hospital for acute cases, the help that patients prefer and the help that they actually receive one month following their discharge. METHODS: A total of 193 patients aged over 64 and admitted to a hospital in Valencia between February and April 1994 were studied. Information on socio-demographic characteristics, self-care capacity, mental state, main diagnosis and co-morbidity was obtained by means of an interview at the time of admission and the medical record. A multidisciplinary team evaluated the socio-health care required in each case. A second interview, one month after discharge from hospital, gathered data on the actual care received. RESULTS: At the time of admission, 17% of the patients needed partial care and 21% full care. 23% were candidates for receiving home help, 9% to be treated as out-patients and 6% in a chronic illness hospital. Most of the patients asked to live at home. One month after discharge from hospital, only 2% of patients were receiving home help, none were being treated as out-patients or in a chronic illness hospital and 3% had once again admitted to a hospital for acute cases. 8% of the patients who were living at home alone before being admitted to hospital and 5% of those who were living with someone else had gone to live with relatives. CONCLUSIONS: The reality observed reflects the lack of socio-health resources. In many cases, this situation leads families to take on the care of the elderly themselves.

Palabras clave : The elderly; Socio-health needs; Hospital discharge.

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