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A profile of four patterns of vulnerability to functional decline in older general medicine patients in Victoria, Australia: A cross sectional survey

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Version 2 2024-06-04, 01:35
Version 1 2016-08-17, 11:56
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 01:35 authored by L Beddoes-Ley, Damien KhawDamien Khaw, Maxine DukeMaxine Duke, Mari BottiMari Botti
BACKGROUND: There are limited published data reporting Australian hospitalized elders' vulnerability to functional decline to guide best practice interventions. The objectives of this study were to describe the prevalence of vulnerability to functional decline and explore profiles of vulnerability related to the performance of physical activity in a representative group of elders in a single centre in Victoria, Australia. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of patients aged ≥ 70 years (Mean age 82.4, SD 7 years) admitted to a general medical ward of an Australian tertiary-referral metropolitan public hospital from March 2010 to March 2011 (n = 526). Patients were screened using the Vulnerable Elders Survey (VES-13). Distinct typologies of physical difficulties were identified using latent class analysis. RESULTS: Most elders scored ≥3/10 on the VES-13 and were rated vulnerable to functional decline (n = 480, 89.5 %). Four distinct classes of physical difficulty were identified: 1) Elders with higher physical functioning (n = 114, 21.7 %); 2) Ambulant elders with diminished strength (n = 24, 4.6 %); 3) Elders with impaired mobility, strength and ability to stoop (n = 267, 50.8 %) and 4) Elders with extensive physical impairment (n = 121, 23 %) Vulnerable elders were distributed through all classes. CONCLUSIONS: Older general medicine patients in Victoria, Australia, are highly vulnerable to functional decline. We identified four distinct patterns of physical difficulties associated with vulnerability to functional decline that can inform health service planning, delivery and education.

History

Journal

BMC Geriatrics

Volume

16

Article number

ARTN 150

Location

England

ISSN

1471-2318

eISSN

1471-2318

Language

English

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, The Authors

Issue

1

Publisher

BMC