Components of the Risk Instrument for Screening in the Community (RISC) that Correlate with Public Health Nurses' Perception of Risk.
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BACKGROUND: Functional decline and frailty are common in community-dwelling older adults, leading to an increased risk of adverse outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To examine the factors that public health nurses perceive to cause risk of three adverse outcomes: institutionalisation, hospitalisation, and death, in older adults, using the Risk Instrument for Screening in the Community (RISC). DESIGN: A quantitative, correlational, descriptive design was used. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A sample of 803 community-dwellers, aged over 65 years receiving regular follow-up by public health nurses. Procedure and Measurements: Public health nurses (n=15) scored the RISC and the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) on patients in their caseload. We examined and compared correlations between the severity of concern and ability of the caregiver network to manage these concerns with public health nurses' perception of risk of the three defined adverse outcomes. RESULTS: In total, 782 RISC scores were available. Concern was higher for the medical state domain (686/782,88%) compared with the mental state (306/782,39%) and activities of daily living (595/782,76%) domains. Concern was rated as severe for only a small percentage of patients. Perceived risk of institutionalisation had the strongest correlation with concern over patients mental state,(r=0.53), while risk of hospitalisation,(r=0.53) and death,(r=0.40) correlated most strongly with concern over the medical state. Weaker correlations were found for the other domains and RISC scores. The CFS most strongly correlated with the ADL domain,(r=0.78). CONCLUSION: Although the prevalence of concern was high, it was mostly rated as mild. Perceived risk of institutionalisation correlated most with concern over the ability of caregiver networks to manage patients' mental state, while risk of hospitalisation and death correlated with patients' medical state. The findings suggest the importance of including an assessment of the caregiver network when examining community-dwelling older adults. Validation of the RISC and public health nurses' ratings are now required.