Use of formal community services by elders and their family caregivers 2 weeks following hospital discharge*


  • Margaret J. Bull PhD RN

    1. Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing, 6-101 HSUF, 308 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
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  • *

    Based on a paper presented at the Second International Conference on Community Health, April, 1993, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.


Early identification of elders who need care following hospitalization might enhance their health and the health of family members who help them with managing their care. The purpose of this study was to: (a) identify pre-discharge predictors of resource use following hospitalization; (b) describe the formal community services used by elders and their family caregivers during the 2 weeks following hospitalization; and (c) determine whether there is a difference in hospital re-admissions between elders who receive community nursing services compared with those who do not receive any services. The sample consisted of 185 elder/caregiver dyads in which the elders were hospitalized for an acute episode of a chronic condition. Both patients and family caregivers were interviewed before discharge and 2 weeks post-discharge. The findings indicate that pre-discharge functional ability and age are statistically significant predictors of home care services used 2 weeks post-discharge. The findings also suggest that elders who receive visiting nurse services are less likely to be re-admitted to the hospital.