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Arch Hellen Med, 37(2), March-April 2019, 237-244


Factors affecting the health status of elderly people receiving home care

C.F. Kleisiaris,1 I.V. Papathanasiou,2 K. Tsaras,2 E. Androulakis,3 L. Kourkouta,4 E. Fradelos,5 S. Zyga5
1Department of Nursing, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Heraklion, Crete
2Department of Nursing, Technological Educational Institute of Thessaly, Larissa
3Department of Medical Laboratories, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens
4Department of Nursing, "Alexander" Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki
5Department of Nursing, Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Services, University of the Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece

OBJECTIVE To assess the interaction between comorbidities and self-reported health status as the basis for preventive intervention in care of the elderly.

METHOD A cross-sectional study was conducted with elderly people (≥65 years) registered in the home health care program "Help at Home". The health status of the participants was assessed using the Greek version of the screening instrument "HealthOmeter", also known as "YGEIOMETRO". The "HealthOmeter" consists of 115 items organized in 8 health domains: Social health, mental health, physical health, life habits, medicines (pharmaceuticals), health and care attitudes and utilization, family health and biometrical values. Higher scores on the 5-point response scale indicate better health status.

RESULTS The participants were 120 older adults in a home care program (80% females), with a mean age of 82±7.4 years. The overall health status of the respondents was reported as "fairly good", despite the high prevalence of chronic comorbidities reported, including mental disorders (16.6%), diabetes mellitus (40.8%), hypertension (45.8%) and cardiovascular diseases (33.3%). The overall health status did not differ with gender (male 50.8 vs female 55.2, p=0.585), but males scored significantly higher than females on the scales of social health (6.3 vs 3.3, 0.042), and family health (10.3 vs 7.2, p=0.006). Multivariable linear regression analysis revealed that scores on specific health domains, and the overall health status were negatively associated with the presence of diagnosed chronic disease, mental disorders, respiratory symptoms and sensory impairment, even after adjusting for gender, age, and smoking.

CONCLUSIONS These findings suggest that healthcare professionals caring for homebound older adults should perform a general assessment of their needs prior to designing their plan of care.

Key words: Chronic diseases, Health status, Mental health, Quality of life, Well-being.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine