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Health Trends. 1990-1991;22(4):153-7.

The burden of chronic illness in local authority residential homes for the elderly.

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Royal Liverpool Hospital.


A survey of all Part III residential homes in the Central and Southern area of Liverpool Health District examined the diagnoses and medication of 331 residents. A heavy burden of chronic illness was observed with cardio-vascular, psychiatric and orthopaedic problems being the most prevalent. Of the top 10 diagnoses, accounting for over half of all conditions, all disease instances required monitoring of their response to treatment. At least two thirds of these diseases were likely to progress, and the usual treatment of three quarters of the sample was associated with possible side-effects. This heavy burden of chronic illness in Part III residential homes implies a major need for both anticipatory and event-related medical care. These needs are unlikely to be met, given that the subtle, but significant, deterioration in the health of residents has been shown to go undetected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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