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Elderly people at home disabled by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Yohannes, Abebaw M. and Roomi, Jamal and Connolly, Martin J. (1998) Elderly people at home disabled by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Age and ageing, 27 (4). pp. 523-525. ISSN 0002-0729

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Abstract

Background: we compared uptake of hospital and community-based support in elderly people disabled by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), normal controls (NCs) and patients with Parkinsons disease, stroke, amputation, or arthritis (disabled controls; DCs). Methods: there were 65 subjects (35 men) aged 70-93 years (mean 78) with COPD, 55 NCs [23 men; age range 71-90 years (mean 78)] and 53 DCs [27 men; age range 70-92 years (mean 78)]. Patients with COPD and DCs were outpatients with Nottingham extended activities of daily living (NEADL) score < 16. NCs came from a community survey. Subjects with COPD were clinically stable. All were cognitively intact. Results: mean NEADL scores (and range) were: 10.2 (3-15) for patients with COPD, 94 (3-15) for DCs Q - 1.14, P = 0.26) and 19-0 (11-21) for NCs. There was no difference in meals-on-wheels, district nurse or hospital or physiotherapy provision between patients with COPD and NCs, but those with COPD received more home care (P < 0.01). DCs received more home care (P = 0.04), more district nurse input (P < 0.001) and more physiotherapy (P < 0.0001) than those with COPD. Conclusions: despite moderate or severe disability, elderly patients with COPD receive little statutory domiciliary support. Reasons for this need further exploration.

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