Investigating the utility of a self-assessment tool in the over 75s
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AbstractThis study investigates the utility of a postal self assessment questionnaire as a screening tool for targeting those individuals over the age of seventy five years, in primary care, who require a full assessment of their health/social care needs. It explores further, whether this is an efficient method for identifying such individuals, and its acceptability to those individuals themselves, as a method of assessment. Data was collected from a cohort of patients who turned seventy five, eighty five and ninety five years of age during the twelve months of the project, in two city General Practices. Practice A had no process in place for reviewing their elderly population, while Practice B saw all their over seventy fives on an annual basis. Participants were invited to complete a previously validated self assessment questionnaire which was sent to them in the post, in order to identify those who were in need of further assessment and/or support. The same cohort was followed up with a face to face health assessment with the Practice Nurse, to confirm or refute the outcome of the self assessment questionnaire. The results were found to be highly correlated. A further qualitative study, comprising semi-structured interviews with a small sample from the original cohort, explored patients' views about the process. From the patients' point of view, the process was found to be highly acceptable within both practices. For Practice A, this method has provided them with a way forward for reviewing their older patients without too much extra effort; and for Practice B, the results allow some streamlining of services to take place. Further work with a larger population is recommended to confirm the results from this small scale study.
TypeThesis or dissertation
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