Are cognitive impairment and depressive mood associated with increased service utilisation in community-dwelling elderly people?Health Soc Care Community. 2003 Jan; 11(1):1-9.HS
The healthcare and social services utilisation of elderly people with mental disorders has not been sufficiently described, although such knowledge could indicate directions for preventive and curative interventions, and suggest unmet service needs. The aim of the present study was to examine cognitive impairment and depressive mood as correlates of specific healthcare and social services utilisation of community-dwelling elderly people. A randomly selected population sample of 1134 community-dwelling individuals aged 65 years and over living in a defined area were interviewed at home. Cognitive impairment was measured by the Mini Mental State Examination and depressive mood by the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies -- Depression scale. Cognitive impairment and depressive mood were related to the number of home care services used, and to the utilisaton of every specific healthcare and social service. After controlling for confounding variables (i.e. age, sex, education, co-residence and disabilities), service utilisation was still predicted by depressive mood, but not by cognitive impairment. Interventions to prevent and cure depressive mood should be considered to decrease the service needs of community-dwelling elderly people. Unmet service needs are suggested since cognitive impairment does not result in increased service utilisation.