Healthy Aging & Clinical Care in the Elderly

Functional Health Status of the Elderly in Taiwan

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Healthy Aging & Clinical Care in the Elderly 2010:29-17

Original Research

Published on 09 Jul 2010

DOI: 10.4137/HACCE.S3620

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Purpose: The purpose of the study is to understand the functional health status of the elderly in Taiwan by using the Chinese version of Minimum Data Set—Home Care (MDS-HC) as a health assessment measurement.

Design and methods: Study participants were randomly recruited from southern Taiwan through a two stage strata (Urban/Rural and County/Township) sampling method. The finalized valid study participants were 402. In-person interviewers (n = 12) for this project were professional nurses who were required to attend three MDS training sessions. The average length of data collection (interviewing) was 40 minutes. Data were assessed for inter-rater reliability. Multi-functional information from the following were gathered from participants for analysis: cognitive patterns; communication/hearing; vision; mood and behavior patterns; social functioning; informal support services; physical functioning; continence; disease diagnoses; health conditions and preventive health measures; nutrition/hydration status; dental status; skin condition; environmental assessment; service utilization; and medication information.

Results: 82% of the participants rated themselves as healthy and functional older community residents. Subjectively, they considered themselves having no problem with daily functional activities/independence; however, data show the elderly are in need of the following community services: preventive health (99.8%); psychotropics (94.8%); visual function (59.2%); social function (49.8%); health promotion (36.1%); and reduction of formal services (31.3%). Additionally, the Client Assessment Protocol (CAP) triggers several potential problems.

Implications: Findings support that specific services should be made available to community-dwelling older adults in Taiwan in order to promote their health status.




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