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The role of social connections and support in the use of emergency care among older adults
Dalarna University, School of Health and Welfare, Social Work. Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7231-826x
Dalarna University, School of Health and Welfare, Social Work. Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7685-3216
Dalarna University, School of Health and Welfare, Caring Science/Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3964-196X
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2023 (English)In: Archives of gerontology and geriatrics (Print), ISSN 0167-4943, E-ISSN 1872-6976, Vol. 111, article id 105010Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: Limited and inconsistent findings have been reported on the link between social connections and support and emergency department (ED) visits in older populations. Moreover, the adequacy of informal care for older adults has rarely been considered. This study explored the associations of social connections, social support, and informal care with ED visits in younger-old (<78 years) and oldest-old (≥78 years) adults. Methods: This is a prospective cohort study based on community-living adults ≥60 years old participating in the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (N=3066 at wave 1, 2001-2004; N=1885 at wave 3, 2007-2010; N=1208 at wave 5, 2013-2016). Standardised indexes were developed to measure social connections, social support, and informal care. The outcome variable was hospital-based ED visits within 4 years of the SNAC-K interview. Associations between exposure variables and ED visits were assessed through negative binomial regressions using generalised estimating equations. Results: Medium (IRR 0.77; 95% CI 0.59–0.99) and high (IRR 0.77; 95% CI 0.56–0.99) levels of social support were negatively associated with ED visits compared to low levels of social support, but only in oldest-old adults. No statistically significant associations were observed between social connections and ED visits. Higher ED visit rates were seen in oldest-old adults with unmet informal care needs, even if the differences did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: ED visits were associated with social support levels among adults aged ≥78 years. Public health interventions to mitigate situations of poor social support may improve health outcomes and reduce avoidable ED visits in oldest-old adults. © 2023

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ireland Ltd , 2023. Vol. 111, article id 105010
Keywords [en]
adult, aged, aging, article, cohort analysis, community living, controlled study, emergency care, emergency ward, exposure variable, female, human, human experiment, interview, major clinical study, male, negative binomial regression, outcome assessment, outcome variable, prospective study, public health, social network, social support, statistical significance, Acute care, Emergency care use, Informal care
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Welfare, Varför söker äldre personer akutsjukvård? Orsaker, omständigheter och förklaringar
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-45870DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2023.105010ISI: 000981084800001PubMedID: 37058774Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85152132820OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-45870DiVA, id: diva2:1752097
Available from: 2023-04-20 Created: 2023-04-20 Last updated: 2023-09-22Bibliographically approved

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Naseer, MahwishDahlberg, LenaEhrenberg, Anna

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