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Physical and mental health aspects of elderly in social care in Poland

Authors Dobrzyn-Matusiak D, Marcisz C, Bąk E, Kulik H, Marcisz E

Received 21 June 2014

Accepted for publication 25 August 2014

Published 21 October 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 1793—1802


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Dorota Dobrzyn-Matusiak,1 Czeslaw Marcisz,2 Ewelina Bąk,3 Halina Kulik,1 Ewa Marcisz4

1Department of Nursing Propaedeutics, 2Department of Gerontology and Geriatric Nursing, School of Health Care, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland; 3Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Bielsko-Biała, Bielsko-Biała, Poland; 4Department of Anxiety Disorders, Hospital of Ministry of Internal Affairs, Katowice, Poland

Background: The objective of the study was to evaluate health aspects in elderly individuals in social, institutional, and home care in Poland.
Methods: A total of 300 elderly individuals in care in Poland were included in the study. The subjects were divided into three groups: residents of long-term care institutions (group I), residents of adult day-care homes (group II), and community-dwelling subjects (group III). Each group consisted of 100 subjects. Questionnaires evaluating the following physical and mental dimensions of health were used: SF-36 Health Survey, basic activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, Geriatric Depression Scale, and Mini–mental state examination.
Results: It was found that the health aspects of the elderly varied depending on whether care was provided in an institutionalized or a home environment, and the lowest health status was found in the elderly receiving in-home care. Furthermore, home-based elderly indicated significant limitations in performing basic activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, as well as a higher prevalence of depression and cognitive impairment.
Conclusion: The elderly in long-term institutionalized care, both in a residential home and adult day-care homes, were characterized by a better physical and mental health status than those receiving in-home care. It seemed that worse health status, including the more frequent depression occurrence and cognitive function disorders in the elderly using the nursing care at their homes, was related to their multimorbidity, loneliness, and too-short duration of the care during the day.

Keywords: social institutions, health status, activities of daily living, depression, cognitive function

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