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Correlates of preferences for autonomy in long-term care: results of a population-based survey among older individuals in Germany

Authors Hajek A, Lehnert T, Wegener A, Riedel-Heller SG, König HH

Received 20 July 2017

Accepted for publication 1 November 2017

Published 4 January 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 71—78


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

André Hajek,1 Thomas Lehnert,1 Annemarie Wegener,1 Steffi G Riedel-Heller,2 Hans-Helmut König1

1Department of Health Economics and Health Services Research, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, 2Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Purpose: Thus far, there is little evidence concerning the factors associated with preferences for autonomy in long-term care. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the correlates of preferences for autonomy in long-term care among older individuals in Germany.
Methods: Data were gathered from a population-based survey of the German population aged ≥65 years in 2015 (N=1,006).
Results: Multiple logistic regressions revealed that preferences for freedom of choice for foods were positively associated with living with partner or spouse (OR: 1.5 [1.0–2.2]), being born in Germany (OR: 1.9 [1.1–3.3]), and lower self-rated health (OR: 1.3 [1.1–1.6]). Preferences for freedom in choosing bedtime and sleep duration were positively associated with lower age (OR: 1.1 [1.0–1.1]) and having children (OR: 2.2 [1.0–4.9]). Preferences for customized living space were positively associated with being female (OR: 2.5 [1.4–4.5]) and being born in Germany (OR: 3.7 [1.9–7.1]). Neither preferences for decent and sanitary housing nor preferences for shared decision-making were associated with any of the independent variables.
Conclusion: Various independent variables were associated with preferences for autonomy in long-term care. This suggests that preferences for care-related autonomy are complex. Knowing these might help refine long-term care health services.

Keywords: caregivers, older adult, long-term care, Germany

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