The Use of Medical and Non-Medical Services by Older Inpatients from Emergency vs. Chronic Departments, during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in Poland

Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Nov 12;9(11):1547. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9111547.


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced numerous changes in medical care. The monitoring of current needs and problems among the elderly in health care facilities seems to be essential. This study aims to assess the difference in terms of the use of medical and non-medical services before planned or emergency hospitalisation by the older population during the strict lockdown period due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Poland. The study used the FIMA (Fragebogen zur Inanspruchnahme medizinischer und nicht-medizinischer Versorgungsleistungen im Alter) questionnaire. Patients admitted on a planned basis (n = 61) were on average 4 years younger, self-administered the questionnaire more frequently and used the services of different types of therapists. Patients admitted on an emergency basis (n = 60) were more likely to visit general practitioners and other specialists and used the carer's allowance benefits. In the case of the elderly, emergency hospitalisation during the pandemic is more frequently preceded by seeking outpatient care in specialists in various fields, covered by insurance. The chronically ill use the services of various therapists while awaiting hospitalisation, usually not covered by health insurance. For both groups, the age > 73 years is critical for the use of assisting means and completing the self-administered questionnaire, which can be used in planning the health care in these patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; FIMA; SARS-CoV-2; elderly; health resources; public health care.