Frailty and health service use in rural South Australia

Dent, Elsa, Hoon, Elizabeth, Karnon, Jonathan, Newbury, Jonathan, Kitson, Alison and Beilby, Justin (2016) Frailty and health service use in rural South Australia. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 62 53-58. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2015.09.012

Author Dent, Elsa
Hoon, Elizabeth
Karnon, Jonathan
Newbury, Jonathan
Kitson, Alison
Beilby, Justin
Title Frailty and health service use in rural South Australia
Journal name Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1872-6976
Publication date 2016-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.archger.2015.09.012
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 62
Start page 53
End page 58
Total pages 6
Place of publication Shannon, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Frailty is a common geriatric condition, well known to contribute to morbidity and mortality. What is not yet well articulated in the literature is the health service use of frail older people in rural areas. This study investigated the impact of frailty on health service use in rural South Australia.

This secondary cross-sectional analysis included people aged ≥65 years from the LINKIN health census in Port Lincoln. Frailty was classified using a Frailty Index (FI) score ≥0.25. Health service use was determined by patient questionnaire. All regression analyses controlled for age, gender and education level.

1501 people [mean (SD) age = 75.9 (7.9)] years were included. Frailty prevalence was 25%, with this prevalence higher in females (29%) than in males (21%). Compared with their non-frail peers, frail adults were more likely to have consulted health providers, including: general practitioners (GPs) (odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI = 2.09, 1.24–3.53); physiotherapists (OR, CI = 2.42, 1.80–3.25); mental health providers (OR, CI = 2.88, 1.42–5.85); community nurses (OR, CI = 2.57, 1.73–3.82); and dieticians (OR, CI = 2.77, 1.77–4.48). They were also more likely to have visited a health professional prior to a problem occurring (OR, CI = 1.51, 1.08–2.11), travelled to the city for a specialist appointment (OR, CI = 1.53, 1.11–2.11), and to have been hospitalised in the previous 12 months (OR, CI = 2.39, 1.74–3.29).

Frail older adults were more likely to use several health services, yet often had unmet needs in their health care.
Keyword Frail elderly
Health services/utilization
South Australia/epidemiology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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