The medical care of patients with primary care home nursing is complex and influenced by non-medical factors: a comprehensive retrospective study from a suburban area in Sweden

BMC Health Serv Res. 2004 Aug 26;4(1):22. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-4-22.


Background: The reduced number of hospital beds and an ageing population have resulted in growing demands for home nursing. We know very little about the comprehensive care of these patients. The objectives were to identify the care, in addition to primary health care, of patients with primary-care home nursing to give a comprehensive view of their care and to investigate how personal, social and functional factors influence the use of specialised medical care.

Methods: One-third (158) of all patients receiving primary-care home nursing in an area were sampled, and 73 % (116) were included. Their care from October 1995 until October 1996 was investigated by sending questionnaires to district nurses and home-help providers and by collecting retrospective data from primary-care records and official statistics. We used non-parametric statistical methods, i.e. medians and minimum - maximum, chi2, and the Mann-Whitney test, since the data were not normally distributed. Conditional logistic regression was used to study whether personal, social or functional factors influenced the chance (expressed as odds ratio) that study patients had made visits to or had received inpatient care from specialised medical care during the study year.

Results: 56 % of the patients had been hospitalised. 73 % had made outpatient visits to specialised medical care. The care took place at 14 different hospitals, and more than 22 specialities were involved, but local care predominated. Almost all patients visited doctors, usually in both primary and specialised medical care. Patients who saw doctors in specialised care had more help from all other categories of care. Patients who received help from their families made more visits to specialised medical care and patients with severe ADL dependence made fewer visits.

Conclusions: The care of patients with primary-care home nursing is complex. Apart from home nursing, all patients also made outpatient visits to doctors, usually in both primary and specialised medical care. Many different caregivers and professions were involved. Reduced functional capacity decreased and help from family members increased the chance of having received outpatient specialised medical care. This raises questions concerning the medical care for patients with both medical and functional problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Community Health Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • House Calls / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Medicine / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Specialization
  • Suburban Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Suburban Population
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology