A Pilot Home-Based Geriatric Health Screening Project in Primary Care
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Regular multidimensional screening of the elderly for undetected health problems has the potential for delaying functional deterioration and improving the quality of life, but has not been evaluated rigorously. This pilot study examined the amount and type of unmet health care need discovered by home-based screening of 100 family practice patients aged 75 and over. Although 96 per cent of patients had some health problems, only 71 per cent had problems that needed further intervention. Of these, the majority were problems in the area of psychosocial function, independence, and lifestyle. Age, sex, and frequency of attendance at the practice in the previous year were not found to be useful markers for targeting screening efforts. Although it is potentially beneficial for detecting unmet need, home-based screening is resource-intensive and requires further examination in randomized trials in the North American context.
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