Social characteristics and care needs of older persons with medically unexplained symptoms: A case-control study
Number of pages
SourceFamily Practice, 33, 6, (2016), pp. 617-625
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OW PsKI [owi]
Primary and Community Care
SubjectFaculty Social Sciences; Radboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen
BACKGROUND: Research in younger patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) has shown impairments in social functioning, such as loneliness and a reduced quality of the patient-doctor relationship. As far as we know, no studies have been performed on social functioning in older MUS patients; self-reported care needs of older MUS patients remain unknown. OBJECTIVE: To explore social characteristics and care needs of older persons with chronic MUS, when compared to older persons with chronic medically explained symptoms (MES). METHODS: Patient characteristics of 107 older persons (>60 years) with chronic MUS were compared to 150 older persons with chronic MES in a case-control design. Participants were recruited via advertisements, general practices and a specialized clinic. All participants completed questionnaires on social functioning; the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly was used to draw up care needs. Linear regression analyses were performed to explore the association between social characteristics and group (MUS/MES), adjusted for demographic and physical determinants. Multiple chi-square tests were performed to detect between-group differences regarding care needs. RESULTS: After adjustments, older MUS patients were slightly but significantly lonelier, reported a somewhat lower quality of their patient-doctor relationship, but reported equal social support levels when compared to MES patients. MUS patients more often reported unmet care needs regarding health and information provision about their health status. CONCLUSION: Only small differences in social functioning were found between older MUS and MES patients. Possibly, training future doctors in giving acceptable explanations for the patient's complaints could improve the unmet care need of information provision in older MUS patients.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) tolog in with SURFconextto upload a file for processing by the repository team.