Health Care

1343 Words3 Pages

Health Care

Within the health care arena there is a growing concern about the needs of the elderly.

Families wonder if their loved ones are getting the proper care that they need With the growing costs of health care and the decreasing resources of primary care physicians it is feared that only the physical needs of the patient are met. Concerns rise about the social psychological and environmental needs or the elderly. A study by Barbara Berkman and associates tries to provide some answers to people concerned with this issue

According to the study many people are not aware of the social services they may have available to them. Because of this, many elderly people are not getting the care they need outside of the physical care necessary to "live." It is felt that screening a patient for social or emotional needs is becoming increasingly important. The focus of this study was to devise a questionnaire to identify the psychological, social and environmental needs of elderly patients.

Three hospitals from different geographic locations were chosen for this study. At each hospital a care coordinator was chosen to be responsible for questionnaire review, communication with physicians, and further assessment and intervention when deemed necessary. Lists of patients 65 and older were generated from the caseloads of primary care physicians from the three hospital sites. The questionnaires were mailed out with physicians cover letters and consent forms in the summer of 1993. In the questionnaire patients were asked to assess their self-percieved notions of there medical and psychosocial needs, as well as the level of their functioning. Upon reciept of the completed questionnaires the care coordinators from each hospital assess the results of the survey. Those patients assessed as being high risk received follow up phone calls.

Depending on the situation, high risk patients were given information only, indirect referrals, or direct referrals.

The findings for the study indicate that approximately 56% of all people surveyed were in need of intervention. The three highest relative risks for all three sights were: difficulty with food preparation, difficulty in doing house work, and difficulty getting around the home. All three hospital settings agree that patients who reported having problems in the survey were judged to need intervention more than those who did not report having problems.

Although the study had good intentions, I feel the study was unclear in its objectives.

The study was to design an assessment tool that would identify the psychosocial and environmental needs of elderly patients.

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