Increasing primary health-care services are associated with acute short-term hospitalization of Danes aged 70 years and older

Anders Vestergaard Fournaise, Niels Espensen, Søren Jakobsen, Karen Andersen-Ranberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Ageing is accompanied by increased risk of morbidity and subsequent risk of acute hospitalisation. With ageing populations, health-care providers focus on prevention of acute admissions of older adults by timely identification and treatment in the community. However, identifying an emerging acute disease can be difficult in older adults due to atypical and vague symptoms, but may be expressed by increased contact to health-care providers. Method: During a 12-month period, all 70+-year-old people short-term (<. 48. hours) hospitalised in the acute medical unit of Svendborg Hospital, were identified. For each admission, individual data on municipal home care and primary care physician (PCP) contacts were retrieved from 12 months before to 6 months after the admission. Those identified as receiving home care for the whole period constituted a subsample. Results: Totally, 443 short-term hospitalisations were recorded in 391 patients (mean age 80.6. years [SD 6.8]; females 57%). The subsample included 157 admissions (141 patients, mean age 84.0. years [SD 7.2]; females 74%). Home care service (minutes per month) increased gradually and significantly over the 12 months prior to admission (33%). Also the number of contacts to primary care physician increased significantly, but only in the last 3. months prior to admission. Conclusion: Prior to an acute short-term admission, home care receiving older adults have significant increases in home care service and PCP contacts and services. Monitoring health-care use may timely identify older adults at risk of acute hospitalisation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number5-6
Pages (from-to)435-439
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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