Analysis of multimorbidity in individual elderly nursing home residents. Development of a multimorbidity matrix

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009 Nov-Dec;49(3):413-9. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2008.12.009. Epub 2009 Jan 29.


The chronic multimorbidity in individual elderly people is rarely documented in its entirety in present medical records, neither as cross-sectional overview nor as longitudinal time-course of various health problems. This obviously hampers an integrated clinical analysis. This work was aimed at evaluating the chronic multimorbidity in individual elderly patients and developing a method to map, quantify and grade the prevalence of the multimorbidity. An explorative study in 70 nursing home residents (55 women), mean age 85 was performed. Information on health problems was obtained through history, clinical examination and medical records. A 19-item multimorbidity matrix that maps, quantifies and grades the chronic morbidity in individual patients is presented. The 70 residents exhibited 275 different health problems; the top 3 items being neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal ones. The residents had a mean of 17 different chronic health problems and were prescribed a mean of 6.6 continuous medications per day. There was a significant correlation between the number of continuous drug prescriptions and both quantitative and graded multimorbidity-scores. The presented multimorbidity matrix provides a useful taxonomic overview over the health situation in individual multimorbid elderly and constitutes the basis for ongoing work to develop and renew the electronic health record into an "interactive health analysis system".

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Sweden / epidemiology