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J Gerontol. 1977 Jul;32(4):420-7.

Psychogeriatric hospital admissions from the community and institutions.


In a sample of 100 psychogeriatric admissions to three Toronto hospitals, the elderly in other institutions, including old age and nursing homes, and those living alone in the community were over-represented. Patients who had lived with relatives, on the other hand, were found to be at low risk for psychogeriatric hospitalization. These three groups of patients were compared using information obtained from psychiatric and social interviews with patients and informants, usually close relatives. Identification of specific needs for the various groups and the implication of these differences for the improvement of psychogeriatric care and prevention of unnecessary hospitalization are discussed. Institutional residents suffered more major physical illness, were less able to maintain functional independence, were referred more often for harmful behavior, were more socially isolated, and had a poorer outcome than community patients. Patients living along lacked familial support, but were not otherwise more socially isolated that those living with relatives, and showed no other deficits. The subjective and objective burdens on the patients' families before admission were considerable. The results are consistent with previous literature on the elderly.

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