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Randomized trial of a health promotion program for frail elders

Canadian Journal on Aging

Author: Hall, N., De Beck, P., Johnson, D., Mackinnon, K., Gutman, G., Glick, N.
Year: 1992
Type: Journal Article


This study evaluates a local health promotion project that may be widely adaptable to assist frail elderly persons to live longer at home. Subjects, enrolled in New Westminster, B.C., were men and women aged 65 and over living in their own homes but assessed and newly admitted to 'personal care at home' by the Long Term Care (LTC) program of the B.C. Ministry of Health. About 90 per cent of eligible clients consented to participate. Randomized to Treatment or Control, they were followed for three years. Controls (n = 86) received standard LTC services, which included screening and pre-admission assessment, arrangement/purchase of needed services and review at three months and at least yearly thereafter. The Treatment group (n = 81) received standard LTC services plus visits from the project nurse who helped each subject to devise a personal health plan based on his or her needs in the areas of health care, substance use, exercise, nutrition, stress management, emotional functioning, social support and participation, housing, finances and transportation. The visits concentrated on setting goals and developing personal health skills, with referral to appropriate community services. An additional group of LTC clients (n = 81) from the adjacent community of Coquitlam was also followed. Success or 'survival' was defined as 'alive and still assessed for care at home'. After three years the 'survival rate' for the Treatment group was 75.3 per cent, compared with 59.3 per cent for the Control group and 58.0 per cent for the Coquitlam group. Standard Kaplan-Meier's survival' graphs show that Treatment subjects were more likely to be alive and living at home at every time point during the three years. Differences between the Treatment and Control groups were statistically significant (p <= 0.05) both for simple cross-tabulations of care status at 24 and 36 months and in tests comparing 'survival' curves. The results are especially striking because Control subjects received LTC services in a geographic area that offers universal access to health care and community resources and because the Control data were concurrent, not historical.

Further Details

Pages 72-91
Volume 11
Issue 1
Accession Number 12.3.03
Keywords North America, older, assessment

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