Cite this publication
Older patients' perceived burdens of their health problems: a cross-sectional analysis in 74 German general practices
Junius-Walker, U.; Wiese, B.; Klaassen-Mielke, R.; Theile, G.; Mueller, C. A. & Hummers-Pradier, E. (2015)
Patient Preference and Adherence, 9 pp. 811-820.
- Junius-Walker, Ulrike; Wiese, Birgitt; Klaassen-Mielke, Renate; Theile, Gudrun; Mueller, Christiane Annette ; Hummers-Pradier, Eva
- Background: Older patients often experience the burden of multiple health problems. Physicians need to consider them to arrive at a holistic treatment plan. Yet, it has not been systematically investigated as to which personal burdens ensue from certain health conditions. Objective: The objective of this study is to examine older patients' perceived burden of their health problems. Patients and methods: The study presents a cross-sectional analysis in 74 German general practices; 836 patients, 72 years and older (mean 79 +/- 4.4), rated the burden of each health problem disclosed by a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Patients rated each burden using three components: importance, emotional impact, and impact on daily activities. Cluster analyses were performed to define patterns in the rating of these components of burden. In a multilevel logistic regression analysis, independent factors that predict high and low burden were explored. Results: Patients had a median of eleven health problems and rated the burden of altogether 8,900 health problems. Four clusters provided a good clustering structure. Two clusters describe a high burden, and a further two, a low burden. Patients attributed a high burden to social and psychological health problems (especially being a caregiver: odds ratio [OR] 10.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.4-24.4), to specific symptoms (eg, claudication: OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3-4.0; pain: OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.6-3.1), and physical disabilities. Patients rated a comparatively low burden for most of their medical findings, for cognitive impairment, and lifestyle issues (eg, hypertension: OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.2-0.3). Conclusion: The patients experienced a relatively greater burden for physical disabilities, mood, or social issues than for diseases themselves. Physicians should interpret these burdens in the individual context and consider them in their treatment planning.
- Issue Date
- Patient Preference and Adherence
- Institut für Allgemeinmedizin
- Funder: Federal Ministry of Education and Research [01ET0722]