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Assessment of health and caring needs in nursing homes. The Resident Assessment Instrument, its development and some pilot study results.



Assessment of health and caring needs in nursing homes. The Resident Assessment Instrument, its development and some pilot study results.



Laeknabladid 83(10): 640-647



Those elderly living in institutions have multiple social, health and mental problems, in addition to loss of function. The Resident Assessment Instrument assesses the individual in detail and his caring needs. Resident Assessment Protocols come with the instrument and a handbook that describes how to evaluate specific problems further. Quality indicators allow comparisons between institutions and thus the quality of care can be assessed in comparable groups of residents. The elderly can be put into defined resource utilisation groups and an average cost calculated per unit or nursing home. A pilot study was conducted in Iceland in 1994 to examine the utility of the instrument. It was shown that most of the residents were viewed as competent according to documents, even if about half of them had considerable cognitive dysfunction. Dementia was the most common diagnosis. One fourth of the residents took antidepressant medications and 54-62% took sedatives or hypnotic drugs. Eight out of 10 had dentures and one third had difficulty chewing. Many more interesting findings showed up that are described in a special report.

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Accession: 051661491

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PMID: 19679910


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