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Symptom burden in community-dwelling older people with multimorbidity: a cross-sectional study
Linkoping Univ, Dept Social & Welf Studies, Linkoping, Sweden..
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Health Sciences.
Linkoping Univ, Dept Geriatr Med, Norrkoping, Sweden.;Linkoping Univ, Dept Social & Welf Studies, Norrkoping, Sweden.;Karolinska Inst KI, Div Clin Geriatr, Dept Neurobiol Care Sci & Soc NVS, Solna, Sweden..
Linkoping Univ, Dept Social & Welf Studies, Linkoping, Sweden..
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2015 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 15, 1Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Background: Globally, the population is ageing and lives with several chronic diseases for decades. A high symptom burden is associated with a high use of healthcare, admissions to nursing homes, and reduced quality of life. The aims of this study were to describe the multidimensional symptom profile and symptom burden in community-dwelling older people with multimorbidity, and to describe factors related to symptom burden. Methods: A cross-sectional study including 378 community-dwelling people >= 75 years, who had been hospitalized >= 3 times during the previous year, had >= 3 diagnoses in their medical records. The Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale was used to assess the prevalence, frequency, severity, distress and symptom burden of 31 symptoms. A multiple linear regression was performed to identify factors related to total symptom burden. Results: The mean number of symptoms per participant was 8.5 (4.6), and the mean total symptom burden score was 0.62 (0.41). Pain was the symptom with the highest prevalence, frequency, severity and distress. Half of the study group reported the prevalence of lack of energy and a dry mouth. Poor vision, likelihood of depression, and diagnoses of the digestive system were independently related to the total symptom burden score. Conclusion: The older community-dwelling people with multimorbidity in this study suffered from a high symptom burden with a high prevalence of pain. Persons with poor vision, likelihood of depression, and diseases of the digestive system are at risk of a higher total symptom burden and might need age-specific standardized guidelines for appropriate management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2015. Vol. 15, 1
Keyword [en]
Chronic disease, Older people, Symptom assessment
National Category
Research subject
Public Health Care Administration; Nursing Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41643DOI: 10.1186/1471-2318-15-1ISI: 000347569800001PubMedID: 25559550OAI: diva2:918498
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2016-05-12Bibliographically approved

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