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Prolonged Wait Time Prior to Entry to Home Care Packages Increases the Risk of Mortality and Transition to Permanent Residential Aged Care Services: Findings from the Registry of Older South Australians (ROSA)



Prolonged Wait Time Prior to Entry to Home Care Packages Increases the Risk of Mortality and Transition to Permanent Residential Aged Care Services: Findings from the Registry of Older South Australians (ROSA)



Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging 23(3): 271-280



Older Australians prefer to live in their own homes for longer and reforms have attempted to increase the volume of home care packages (HCPs) accordingly but there remains a queue with the longer-term consequences unclear. This study aims to characterise older Australians according to their wait times for a home care package (HCP), evaluate the association between wait time and mortality and evaluate the association between wait time and transition to permanent residential aged care services after HCP. A retrospective cohort study using data from the National Historical cohort (2003-2014) of the Registry of Older South Australians (ROSA) was conducted. Home based aged care services, national cohort. Wait time was estimated from approval date to date of receiving a HCP. Descriptive, survival estimates (95% confidence intervals (CIs)), and multivariable survival analyses (Cox-regression) were conducted to evaluate the risk of mortality and transition to permanent residential aged care services by quartiles of wait time for HCP. The cohort was followed for 4.0 years (interquartile range IQR (1.8-7.2)) and 38% were alive at the end of the study period with a median wait time for HCP of 62 (21-187) days. From 178,924 older people who received a HCP during the study period (2003-2013), 33.2% people received HCP within 30 days, 74.3% within 6 months and 25.7% after 6 months. The effect of wait time on risk of mortality was time-dependent, with longer wait times associated with higher mortality in the longer term. Compared to people who waited ≤30 days for a HCP, individuals who waited more than 6 months had an almost 20% excess risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 95%CI = (1.18, 1.16-1.21)) 2 years after entry into a HCP. Those who waited more than 6 months also had a 10% (1.10, 1.06-1.13) higher risk of transition to permanent residential aged care services after two years. Prolonged wait times for HCP is associated with a higher risk of long-term mortality as well as transition to permanent residential aged care. It remains to be seen if a shortening of this wait time translates into better health outcomes.

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Accession: 066544910

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PMID: 30820516

DOI: 10.1007/s12603-018-1145-y


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