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Does the patient-centred approach help identify the needs of older people attending primary care?

Does the patient-centred approach help identify the needs of older people attending primary care?

Age and Ageing 36(6): 628-631

To investigate the effect of a general practitioner's 'patient centredness' on identification of unmet needs in older adults. Correlational questionnaire based study with a descriptive element. Two south London general practice surgeries. Sixty seven patients over the age of 65 visiting their general practitioner (GP) for a new episode of care. Assessment of unmet needs and patients' perceptions of GP patient centredness. Having one or more unmet needs on the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly (CANE) was not associated with evaluations of GP patient centredness (t (64) = - 0.334, P = 0.740). After their GP consultation, 35 (52.2%) participants still had at least one unmet need on the CANE. The most common unmet needs were information (13, 19.4%), eyesight/hearing (11, 16.4%) and benefits (11, 16.4%). A large proportion of the patient sample (28, 41.8%) who perceived their problems were dealt with by the consultation, had unmet needs on the CANE. The patient-centred approach was highly valued but was not linked to reduced unmet needs. Many older people tolerate unmet needs and seem reluctant to acknowledge them or mention them to their GP.

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Accession: 020889738

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PMID: 17965040

DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afm131

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