Effects of a continuum of care intervention on frail older persons' life satisfaction: a randomized controlled study

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Abstract

Aims and objectives.

The aim of this study was to analyse effects of a comprehensive continuum of care (intervention group) on frail older persons' life satisfaction, as compared to those receiving usual care (control group). The intervention included geriatric assessment, case management, interprofessional collaboration, support for relatives and organising of care-planning meetings in older persons' own homes.

Background.

Improvements in older persons' subjective well-being have been shown in studies including care planning and coordination by a case manager. However, effects of more complex continuum of care interventions on frail older persons' life satisfaction are not well explored.

Design.

Randomised controlled study.

Methods.

The validated LiSat-11 scale was used in face-to-face interviews to assess older persons' life satisfaction at baseline and at three, six and 12 months after the baseline. The odds ratio for improving or maintaining satisfaction was compared for intervention and control groups from baseline to three-month, three- to six-month as well as six- to 12-month follow-ups.

Results.

Older persons who received the intervention were more likely to improve or maintain satisfaction than those who received usual care, between 6 and 12 month follow-ups, for satisfaction regarding functional capacity, psychological health and financial situation.

Conclusions.

A comprehensive continuum of care intervention comprising several components had a positive effect on frail older persons' satisfaction with functional capacity, psychological health and financial situation.

Relevance to clinical practice.

Frail older persons represent a great proportion of the persons in need of support from the health care system. Health care professionals need to consider continuum of care interventions' impact on life satisfaction. As life satisfaction is an essential part of older persons' well-being, we propose that policy makers and managers promote comprehensive continuum of care solutions.

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