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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1989 Jan;37(1):17-24.

The yield of a home visit in the assessment of geriatric patients.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, California.

Abstract

Elderly patients often have problems not easily detected during an office visit. We investigated the yield of a home visit by a geriatric nurse specialist as part of an interdisciplinary assessment process. Compared with the findings of an office-based assessment by a general internist, the home visit resulted in up to four new problems (median = 2, mean = 1.7, 95% confidence interval = 1.5-1.8) and one to eight new recommendations (median = 4, mean = 3.6, 95% confidence interval = 3.4-3.9). Twenty-three percent of the problems could have resulted in death or significant morbidity. The most frequent problems related to psychobehavioral difficulties (23.1% of problems involving 38.3% of patients), safety (21.6% of problems involving 35.7% of patients), and caregiver related problems (20.4% of problems involving 33.8% of patients). The most common recommendations related to safety (30.7% of recommendations involving 81.8% of patients), caregiver well-being (19.8% of recommendations involving 52.6% of patients), and social issues (12.7% involving 33.8% of patients). Baseline clinical information did not predict the yield of the home visit in this sample. We conclude that an in-home assessment contributes unique and meaningful information to the geriatric assessment process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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