Comparing psychogeriatric units to ordinary long-term care units - are there differences in case-mix or clinical symptoms?

TitleComparing psychogeriatric units to ordinary long-term care units - are there differences in case-mix or clinical symptoms?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSaarela T.M, Finne-Soveri H., Liedenpohja A.M, Noro A.
JournalNord J Psychiatry
ISBN Number1502-4725 (Electronic)<br/>0803-9488 (Linking)
Accession Number18389423
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Catchment Area (Health), Cognition Disorders/diagnosis/epidemiology, Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology, Diagnosis-Related Groups, Female, Finland, Health Services for the Aged/organization & administration/*statistics &, Health Services Needs and Demand, Hospitals/*statistics & numerical data, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders/diagnosis/drug therapy/*epidemiology, Mental Health Services/organization & administration/*statistics & numerical data, Neuropsychological Tests, numerical data, Nursing Homes/*statistics & numerical data, Personality Disorders/diagnosis/epidemiology/psychology, Prevalence, Psychotropic Drugs/therapeutic use, Recognition (Psychology), Severity of Illness Index, Somatoform Disorders/diagnosis/drug therapy/epidemiology

This study is a comparative analysis of long-term psychogeriatric and mixed-care unit patient characteristics in nursing homes and hospitals in Helsinki. The role of the so-called psychogeriatric nursing homes is still under question and not well developed. The aims of the study were to identify and survey psychogeriatric wards and analyze whether these units differ from the rest of the long-term units/wards in terms of patients' characteristics. Participants studied were a total of 2828 elderly long-term care residents, of which 372 were living in long-term psychogeriatric and 2456 in ordinary long-term care units. Data were drawn from the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) database and had been collected in the project "Benchmarking and implementation of RAI in Elderly Care in Finland". Scales and items based on Minimum Data Set were used for the comparisons. Resident groups in psychogeriatric units and in ordinary, mixed-client settings were clearly distinguishable. The psychogeriatric residents were younger, had more comorbidity as to psychiatric diseases, and had more often psychiatric symptoms and psychotropic medications. The residents in psychogeriatric units did not differ in cognitive and functional status from those in mixed-client units and had similar comorbidity as to somatic diseases. This study shows that psychiatric symptoms that need to be addressed are common in long-care facilities. The results emphasize the importance of recognition of the multiple care needs of elderly with severe mental symptoms or illness.