BACKGROUND: Dementia is a chronic illness associated with a progressive loss of cognitive and intellectual abilities, such as memory, judgment and abstract thinking.The objective of this study was to assess the health utilities of patients with dementia in Europe and identify the key factors influencing their Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQol). METHODS: This study used cross-sectional data from the Odense study; a Danish cohort of patients aged 65-84 living in Odense, Denmark. A total of 244 patients with mild to severe dementia were interviewed together with a caregiver about their health status and activities of daily living (ADL). Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed according to the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria for probable dementia. Vascular dementia and other types of dementia were diagnosed according to the DSM-IIIR criteria. Severity of dementia was defined by score intervals on the Mini Mental State Examination score: mild (MMSE 20-30), moderate (MMSE 10-19), and severe (MMSE 0-9). Based on the ADL information, the patients' dependency level was defined as either dependent or independent. Questions from the Odense Study were mapped into each of the five dimensions of the EQ-5D in order to assess patients' HRQol. Danish EQ-5D social tariffs were used to value patients' HRQol.A regression analysis of EQ-5D values was conducted with backward selection on gender, age, severity, ADL level and setting in order to determine the main factor influencing HRQoL. RESULTS: The EQ-5D weight in patients independent upon others in ADL was 0.641 (95% CI: [0.612-0.669]), and in those dependent upon others was 0.343 (95% CI: [0.251-0.436]). CONCLUSION: Dependency upon others to perform ADL was the main factor affecting HRQoL.
The traditional values of Chinese culture promote care and respect toward older adults. While it appears to be ironic to discuss issues of abuse and neglect in the Chinese culture, research findings in Chinese societies do indicate the occurrences of such problems. However, little research on the abuse and neglect of older Chinese in Western societies has been available. This study aims to examine the incidence of abuse and neglect and the associated correlates based on data collected from a random sample of 2,272 aging Chinese 55 years and older in seven Canadian cities. The findings show that 4.5% of the participants reported experiencing at least one incident of maltreatment or neglect within the past year. The most common forms of neglect and abuse experienced by the aging Chinese include being scolded, yelled at, treated impolitely all the time, and ridiculed. Close family members such as spouses and sons are those that most commonly maltreat older Chinese. Those who were more likely to report at least one incident of maltreatment or neglect were older adults living with others; they tended to have no education, more access barriers, more chronic illnesses, less favorable mental health, and a higher level of identification with Chinese cultural values. The findings implied that the face value of respect and care received by older people in Chinese culture should not be taken for granted. Culturally appropriate precautionary steps are needed for prevention and early problem identification.
This study examines the adequacy of the dietary intake based on age, sex, and level of nutritional risk among 98 frail elderly persons receiving home care through Community Care Access Centres. The dietary intakes were measured using 24-hour recalls and were compared with the dietary reference intake. The participants' intakes of both macronutrients and micronutrients were found to be inadequate. On average, elderly persons were consuming more than the recommended amount of protein, but the average intakes of many vitamins and minerals were less than optimal based on the average intakes. Paradoxically, more than half of elderly participants were overweight or obese. The results highlight the need for appropriate nutrition, education, and support for elderly persons receiving home care.
Care process quality (i.e. how care is enacted by a care worker toward a client at the interpersonal level) is a strong predictor of satisfaction in a wide range of health care services. The purpose of this paper is to describe the basic elements of care process quality as user-oriented care. Specifically, the questions of how and why quality in user-oriented care varies were investigated in the context of elderly care.
A new taxonomy for categorizing process quality variation, the Big Five of user-oriented care (task-focus, person-focus, affect, cooperation, and time-use), is proposed. In addition, the perceived reasons for process quality variation are reported in our own developed Quality Agents Model, suggesting that variations in care process evaluations may be explained from different perspectives at multiple levels (i.e., older person, care worker-, unit-, department-, and municipality level).
The proposed taxonomy and model are useful for describing user-oriented care quality and the reasons for its variations. These findings are of relevance for future quality developments of elderly care services, but also may be adapted to applications in any other enterprise employing a user-oriented approach.
The trend towards polypharmacy is increasing among the elderly, and associated with this trend is an increased risk of adverse drug effects and drug-drug interactions. Our objective was to assess whether drug adverse effects reported by patients are in general agreement with those identified by a physician.
We evaluated the medication of 404 randomly selected individuals aged 75 years or older by means of interviews carried out by trained nurses and examinations conducted by a physician. The medication used by these patients was recorded prior to the physician's examination and modified thereafter if considered appropriate. Adverse effects noted by the physician were compared to those self-reported by the patients.
Almost all of the patients (98.8%) were using at least one drug, and the mean total number of drugs used was 6.5. Adverse effects were self-reported by 11.4% of the patients, whereas the physician observed apparent adverse drug effects in 24.0% of the patients. No adverse effects were reported in 53.2% of the patients. There were only seven patients that had adverse effects that were both self-reported and identified by the physician, and only four of these patients reported the same adverse effect that had been identified by the physician.
There was a great disparity between the adverse effects identified by the physician and those reported by the patients themselves. Based on our results, it would appear that elderly people tend to neglect adverse drug effects and may consider them to be an unavoidable part of normal ageing. Therefore, physicians should enquire about possible adverse effects even though elderly patients may not complain of any drug-related problems.
The assessment of body composition is an important measure to monitor the process of healthy aging and detect early signs of disease. Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is considered a valid technique for the assessment of body composition but is confined to the clinical environment. Multi-frequency bio-electrical impedance analysis (MF-BIA) might be a versatile alternative to DXA. We aimed to assess whether a segmental MF-BIA scale can be an accurate and reliable tool for the monitoring of body composition in the elderly and whether the presence of metallic prostheses can influence the agreement between the two techniques.
Weight and height were measured in 92 healthy subjects (53 women) aged 80-81 years from the H70 Gerontological and Geriatric study in Gothenburg. Total and segmental fat mass (FM) and lean soft tissue (LST) were estimated by DXA (Lunar Prodigy, Scanex, Sweden) and segmental MF-BIA (MC-180MA, Tanita, Japan). Bland-Altman analyses were performed to assess the agreement between the two techniques. The prediction of DXA-FM by MF-BIA was compared to that of the body mass index (BMI).
MF-BIA showed a significant underestimation of FM and an overestimation of LST that was larger in men than in women. Smaller but significant deviations were found for appendicular LST and SMM. MF-BIA was not superior to BMI at predicting DXA-FM. The lack of agreement between MF-BIA and DXA was not due to the presence of metal prostheses or diagnoses such as hypertension and edema. The prediction equations applied by the device used in this study should be adapted to the elderly population and details about the reference population(s) should be disclosed.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to identify clinical characteristics of depression in elderly people that could be useful for case finding in general practice. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of clinical characteristics through review of medical records. SETTING: Herrhagen health centre, Karlstad, Sweden. SUBJECTS: Seventy-one persons with a high depressive score in a screening of depressive symptoms and an age-matched and sex-matched control group of 138 persons with a low depressive score. RESULTS: The high depressive score group had an increased relative risk for "mental health problems" (RR 3.4; CI 95% 1.7-7.2), "many contacts with the health care centre" (> or = 14/3 years) (RR 2.9; CI 95% 1.4-6.1), and prescriptions of benzodiazepines (RR 1.7; CI 95% 1.0-2.9). Two-thirds of those in the high depressive score group had at least one of these characteristics. However, three-quarters of those with any of these characteristics had a low depressive score. In our population of elderly people with an estimated prevalence of 10.2% the positive predictive value would be 21% and the negative predictive value 95%. CONCLUSION: General practitioners should suspect a possible depressive disorder in elderly patients with mental health problems, with frequent contacts with the health centre or with prescriptions of benzodiazepines. Despite the high occurrences of these prominent clinical characteristics in the high-score group, they did not unfortunately have sufficient discriminatory power to be useful for case finding.
In 2000, with the implementation of Part III of the Adult Guardianship Act: Support and Assistance for Abused and Neglected Adults, British Columbia formally recognized the need to examine issues of decisional capacity of older adults within a context of abuse or neglect. Interestingly, however, although the test of capacity was clearly laid out under this piece of legislation, the potential influence that living in a situation of abuse or neglect may have on how the person makes decisions is not explicitly addressed. Similarly, this is a missing link throughout the literature discussing decisional capacity in older adults. This gap exists despite the fact that determining the "protection" needs of someone who is being abused and/or neglected often hinges directly on that person's decisional capacity. The purpose of this article is to examine the unique aspects associated with assessing and determining capacity for older adults who are living in a situation of abuse or neglect. The specific objectives are to: (a) examine how living in a situation of abuse or neglect may influence the determination of capacity and (b) explore the implications of conducting an assessment within a potentially abusive context. The legal notion of undue influence and the psychological concept of relational connection are introduced as potentially important for considering decision making within this context.
Assessing the relative and absolute reliability of the Falls Efficacy Scale-International questionnaire in elderly individuals with increased fall risk and the questionnaire's convergent validity in elderly women with osteoporosis.
The Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I) is a highly reliable questionnaire for assessing fear of falling in elderly individuals with increased fall risk and has low or no convergent validity with balance performance tests and health-related quality of life (HRQL) among elderly women with osteoporosis, which indicates that both measurements should be included as they are measuring different components.
Fear of falling is increased in elderly individuals with osteoporosis and FES-I is a widely used questionnaire to assess fear of falling. There is limited evidence of the reliability and convergent validity in elderly with increased risk of falling and osteoporosis.
Reliability and validity study of the FES-I. Community-dwelling elderly with increased fall risk, 59 subjects, were recruited to the reliability assessment, and 81 women with osteoporosis, in the validity assessment. For the reliability assessment, two postal surveys were used. For the validity assessment, we used baseline data from an on-going study in women with osteoporosis. The FES-I was correlated to a single-item question regarding fear of falling, self-reported history of falls, balance performance tests and health-related quality of life.
The FES-I had very good relative reliability (intra-class correlation 0.88) and internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha 0.94). The value for absolute reliability was a standard error of measure 2.9 (10.6 %), smallest real difference 7.9 (29 %). There was "little if any" to "low" correlation between the FES-I and the single-item question regarding fear of falling and self-reported history of falls, HRQL and balance performance tests.
The FES-I seems to be a highly reliable questionnaire for assessing fear of falling in elderly with increased fall risk but has low relation to/convergent validity with balance performance and HRQL among elderly women with osteoporosis.