The relationship between frailty, functional dependence, and healthcare needs among community dwelling people with moderate to severe dementia

Wilson Abreu, Debbie Tolson, Graham Jackson, Harry Staines, Nilza Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aim: Even when dementia is recognized in the community care settings, research indicates that the quality of dementia care is suboptimal given a fragmented assessment of needs. This study aims to examine the health care needs of community-dwelling older people in Porto, Portugal who are diagnosed with moderate or severe dementia.

Material and methods: A sample of 83 participants was recruited. A sociodemographic questionnaire, the Clinical Dementia Rating, the Barthel Index, the Lawton and Brody Instrumental Activities of Daily Living and the Edmonton Frail Scale were used. A set of 26 health care needs was defined to support the assessment. The Pearson chi-square test was calculated to examine the frequencies of the 26 needs (unmet and met) among participants with moderate / severe dementia and moderate / severe frailty.

Results: Participants were diagnosed previously with moderate or severe dementia. There was a concentration in “severe dementia”, “fully dependence”, “severely or fully dependent in the activities of daily living” and “severe frailty”. There are statistically differences among needs identified in people with moderate or severe dementia and moderate or severe frailty. The most prevalent health care needs in the sample were food preparation, medication / taking pills, looking after home, toilet use, senses, communication / interaction, bladder, bowels, eat and drink, memory, senses, usual sleep and falls prevention. Anyway, the study identifies a set of needs that are transversal to frailty and dementia stages.

Conclusion: Conducting a comprehensive health care needs assessment can prevent fragmented care, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and provide comfort. Timely health care needs assessment may help professionals to tailor quality interventions, including the emotional and psychological balance of the caregiver.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-653
Number of pages12
JournalHealth & Social Care in the Community
Volume27
Issue number3
Early online date7 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2019

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