A Pilot Study on Health Care Utilization: Outpatient Aftercare for Geriatric Patients and Their Relatives


Increasing life expectancy correlating highly with polymorbidity, frequently causes recurring inpatient stays at Geriatric hospital wards. After discharge from hospital, an offer for physical and psychological after-care seems necessary for most patients. Purpose of this project was the development, implementation and primary assessment of an out-patient after-care intervention program for elderly, multimorbid patients and their relatives. During a period of eight months an interdisciplinary team offered psychological interventions as well as medical advice, nursing care and social casework. Primary goal was the investigation of health care utilization conduct and effectiveness of this after-care service in regard to sustainable stabilization of former inpatients. Preliminary results show higher demand of psychological and psychotherapeutic groups, whereas medical questions and nursing care problems were of minor concern to the patients. Contrary to our presumptions, even geriatric patients with a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorder, showed to be reliable and constructive participants in psychological group settings. Situation and problems of (nursing) relatives could be identified accurately, although they represented an independent target group, possibly in need of more specific interventions.

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R. R. Gaugeler, B. B. Jenull and I. I. Salem, "A Pilot Study on Health Care Utilization: Outpatient Aftercare for Geriatric Patients and Their Relatives," International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012, pp. 92-97. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2012.32020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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