Browsing by Subject "older adults"

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  • Kemp, Kirsi Maria; Alakare, Janne; Kätkä, Minna; Lääperi, Mitja; Lehtonen, Lasse; Castren, Maaret (2022)
    Background and importance Emergency Severity Index is a five-level triage tool in the emergency department that predicts the need for emergency department resources and the degree of emergency. However, it is unknown whether this is valid in patients aged greater than or equal to 65 years. Objective The aim of the study was to compare the accuracy of the Emergency Severity Index triage system between emergency department patients aged 18-64 and greater than or equal to 65 years. Design, settings, and participants This was a retrospective observational cohort study of adults who presented to a Finnish emergency department between 1 February 2018 and 28 February 2018. All data were collected from electronic health records. Outcome measures and analysis The primary outcome was 3-day mortality. The secondary outcomes were 30-day mortality, hospital admission, high dependency unit or ICU admission, and emergency department length of stay. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve and cutoff performances were used to investigate significant associations between triage categories and outcomes. The results of the two age groups were compared. Main results There were 3141 emergency department patients aged 18-64 years and 2370 patients aged greater than or equal to 65 years. The 3-day mortality area under the curve in patients aged greater than or equal to 65 years was greater than that in patients aged 18-64 years. The Emergency Severity Index was associated with high dependency unit/ICU admissions in both groups, with moderate sensitivity [18-64 years: 61.8% (50.9-71.9%); greater than or equal to 65 years: 73.3% (63.5-81.6%)] and high specificity [18-64 years: 93.0% (92.0-93.8%); greater than or equal to 65 years: 90.9% (90.0-92.1%)]. The sensitivity was high and specificity was low for 30-day mortality and hospital admission in both age groups. The emergency department length of stay was the longest in Emergency Severity Index category 3 for both age groups. There was no significant difference in accuracy between age groups for any outcome. Conclusion Emergency Severity Index performed well in predicting high dependency unit/ICU admission rates for both 18-64 years and greater than or equal to 65-year-old patients. It predicted the 3-day mortality for patients aged greater than or equal to 65 years with high accuracy. It was inaccurate in predicting 30-day mortality and hospital admission for both age groups.
  • Kohtamaki, Laura M.; Hernberg, Micaela; Jaakkola, Marjut; Makela, Siru (2021)
    Although new compounds have improved the treatment landscape of metastatic melanoma, very limited data exist on the efficacy and safety of treating older patients with novel agents. Here, we provide results of BRAF (BRAFi) +/- MEK (MEKi) inhibitor treatment in patients over 75 years (oldest-old patients) with metastatic melanoma. Between 2011 and 2020, 34 consecutive patients with metastatic melanoma over 75 years of age (range 75-89) were treated with BRAFi +/- MEKi at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Helsinki University Hospital. Data on clinical and histopathological features, toxicity, response rate (RR), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were collected. Patients were treated with BRAFi (n = 22) or BRAFi in combination with MEK inhibitor (MEKi) (n = 12). Grade 1-2 adverse events occurred in 68% of the patients, 32% had grade 3 adverse effects, dose reductions were made for 41% of patients and 29% terminated treatment due to toxicity. Overall, the RR was 62%. Complete responses were achieved in 27% of the patients, and 35% had partial responses. The median PFS was 8 months (range 0-57), and the median OS was 15 months (range 0-71). Tailored BRAFi +/- MEKi treatment for older patients is feasible. Adverse effects occur frequently but are manageable by dose adjustment. The occurrence of toxicity of monotherapy was similar to that of combination therapy. The RR and median OS from our retrospective study are comparable with those reported in clinical trials and combination therapy produced somewhat more and longer-lasting responses. Hence, it seems that older patients may benefit from BRAFi treatment.
  • Kouvonen, Anne; Kemppainen, Laura; Ketonen, Eeva-Leena; Kemppainen, Teemu; Olakivi, Antero; Wrede, Sirpa (2021)
    Background: Previous studies have found that in general, poor health is associated with a lower likelihood of internet use in older adults, but it is not well known how different indicators of health are associated with different types of digital information technology (DIT) use. Moreover, little is known about the relationship between health and the types of DIT use in older ethnic minority and migrant populations. Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the associations among depressive symptoms and self-rated health (SRH) with different dimensions of DIT use in older migrants. Methods: We analyzed data from the Care, Health and Ageing of Russian-speaking Minority (CHARM) study, which is based on a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling, Russian-speaking adults aged 50 years or older residing permanently in Finland (men: 616/1082, 56.93%; age: mean 63.2 years, SD 8.4 years; response rate: 1082/3000, 36.07%). Data were collected in 2019 using a postal survey. Health was measured using depressive symptoms (measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) and SRH. Binary logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the associations between the two health indicators and the following six outcomes: daily internet use, smartphone ownership, the use of the internet for messages and calls, social media use, the use of the internet for personal health data, and obtaining health information from the internet. A number of sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors were controlled for in the logistic regression regression analysis. Analyses were performed with weights accounting for the survey design and nonresponse. Results: After adjusting for sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors, depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] 2.68, 95% CI 1.37-5.24; P=.004) and poor SRH (OR 7.90, 95% CI 1.88-33.11; P=.005) were associated with a higher likelihood of not using the internet daily. Depressive symptoms (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.06-3.35; P=.03) and poor SRH (OR 5.05, 95% CI 1.58-16.19; P=.006) also increased the likelihood of smartphone nonuse. Depressive symptoms were additionally associated with a lower likelihood of social media use, and poor SRH was associated with a lower likelihood of using the internet for messaging and calling. Conclusions: Poor SRH and depressive symptoms are associated with a lower likelihood of DIT use in older adults. Longitudinal studies are required to determine the directions of these relationships.
  • Luokkala, Toni; Laitinen, Minna K.; Hevonkorpi, Teemu P.; Raittio, Lauri; Mattila, Ville M.; Launonen, Antti P. (2020)
    We found no clear evidence of the clinical superiority of distal radius fracture surgery among older adults at one year.Surgical treatment, however, may yield a faster recovery to previous level of activity in elderly patients.With operative treatment, hardware-based problems may warrant secondary operations and implant removal, whereas in non-operative treatment, symptomatic loss of alignment and malunion can occur.In elderly patients, non-operative treatment can be considered to be the gold standard.
  • Wackström, Nanna; Koponen, Anne M.; Suominen, Sakari; Tarkka, Ina M.; Simonsen, Nina (2020)
    ABSTRACT Background: Physical activity (PA) is a key component in management of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Pain might be a barrier to PA especially among older adults with T2D, but surprisingly few studies have investigated the association between chronic pain and PA. Our aim was to evaluate the prevalence of chronic pain among older adults with T2D and to examine the association between chronic pain and PA while taking important life-contextual factors into account. Methods: Data of this register-based, cross-sectional study were collected in a survey among adults with T2D (n=2866). In the current study, only respondents aged 65?75 years were included (response rate 63%, n=1386). Data were analysed by means of descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: In total, 64% reported chronic pain. In specific groups, e.g. women and those who were obese, the prevalence was even higher. Among respondents experiencing chronic pain, frequent pain among women and severe pain among both genders were independently associated with decreased likelihood of being physically active. Moreover, the likelihood of being physically active decreased with higher age and BMI, whereas it increased with higher autonomous motivation and feelings of energy. Among physically active respondents suffering from chronic pain, neither intensity nor frequency of pain explained engagement in exercise (as compared with incidental PA). Instead, men were more likely to exercise regularly as were those with good perceived health and higher autonomous motivation. Conclusions: The prevalence of chronic pain is high among older adults with T2D. This study shows that among those suffering from chronic pain, severe pain is independently and inversely associated with being physically active, as is frequent pain, but only among women. Moreover, the findings show the importance of autonomous motivation and health variables for both incidental PA and exercise among older adults with T2D experiencing chronic pain.
  • Liimatta, Heini; Lampela, Pekka; Laitinen-Parkkonen, Pirjo; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2019)
    Objective: We explored the effectiveness of preventive home visits on the health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) and mortality among independently community-dwelling older adults. Design: A randomised controlled trial. Subjects: Independently home-dwelling older adults 75 years and older, consisting of 211 in the intervention and 211 in the control group. Setting: Hyvinkaa town municipality, Finland. Main outcome measures: We used the change in HRQoL measured by the 15D scale as our primary outcome. Mortality at two years was retrieved from central registers. Results: At the one-year time point, the HRQoL according to the 15D scores deteriorated in the control group, whereas we found no change in the intervention group. The difference between the 15D score changes between the groups was -0.015 (95% CI -0.029 to -0.0016; p = 0.028, adjusted for age, sex, and baseline value). At the two-year time point as the visits ended, that difference diminished. There was no difference in mortality between the groups during the 24-month follow-up. Conclusion: Preventive home visits implemented by a multidisciplinary team with CGA appear to help slow down the decline in HRQoL among older adults, although the effect diminishes when the visits end.
  • Luoma, Elisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Family caregiving refers to the organization of home care for an older adult, disabled or sick person with the assistance of a relative or other close person. The number of elderly carers (> 65 years) of all family garegivers is significant. There are challenges concerning family caregiving for the older adults, due to increased age is in connection with decreased physical performance and increased number of medications and polypharmacy. Despite these factors, there has been little research on the medication safety in the family caregiving among older adults. The aim of this Master's thesis was to identify factors influencing the ability of a caregiver to cope with the medication management of the older adults. These factors were divided into subgategories: factors associated a family caregiver, associated a care recipient and system-oriented factors. The research was conducted as a method triangulation, in which the data were collected through two interviews with home visits (n = 21) and related questionnaires. The questionnaire data were quantitatively analyzed by calculating the frequencies and relative frequencies. The transcribed interviews were analyzed by abductive content analysis, combining both deductive and inductive approach. James Reason's theory of human error was used as the theoretical framework. Caregiving families participating in this research were very different compared with each other. Some family caregivers and care recipients were in good physical condition while others were severely disabled. However, the situation of the families was not individually considered when considering appropriate support services for the families. The workload of family caregivers due to the pain and the absence of days off contributed to the difficulty of medication management. The foremost system-oriented challenges in the management of the medications were: 1) difficult for the families to reach the physician and 2) for those families where assisted home care helped the caregiver, the families were not satisfied with its functioning. Due to the poor availability of physicians and the lack of a family physician, there was no one in control of the medication as a whole and there was inadequate monitoring of the medication. In the assisted home care, challenges were caused by the fact that home care visits were conducted over a wide period of time, which created challenges for giving the medications. Carers do not receive sufficient support from the society for the management of the medications. The medication safety of the older adults in the family caregiving is particularly affected by the difficulty of reaching a physician, the inadequacy of support from the assisted home care, the failure to recognize the individuality of caregiving families, and the caregivers’ burden due to pain and lack of days off. Support for caregivers must be at the forefront of society in the future, so that caregivers can cope with heavy nursing care and complicated medications, even without excessive self-activity.
  • Oura, Riki; Mäntylä, Päivi; Saarela, Riitta; Hiltunen, Kaija (2022)
    Background Oral hypofunction (OHF) is related to occlusal status and bite force. It has specific symptoms and varying degrees of severity. Objectives OHF was determined with five signs. The relationships between OHF and need for assistance in oral hygiene, moving, eating and occlusal status in older adults living in long-term care (LTC) were examined. Methods A comprehensive clinical oral examination was conducted on 393 residents who lived in LTC in Helsinki, Finland. The five signs to determine OHF were mouth dryness, visible food residue on oral or denture surfaces, ability to keep the mouth open during examination, clearness of speech, and diet of pureed or soft food. Score points of 0-2 were given for each sign, and the sum was categorised as mild, moderate or severe OHF. Participants were divided into three groups accordingly, and occlusal status was determined based on contact units. In addition, nurses collected background information on number of medications and level of cognition. Need for assistance was based on oral hygiene, moving and eating. Results Of participants (n = 319), 21% showed severe and 41% moderate OHF. Occlusal status differences between the OHF groups were significant. OHF severity associated linearly with increased severity of cognitive impairment and increased need for assistance in oral hygiene, eating and moving. Conclusions OHF score based on the five signs can be used to determine OHF severity. OHF was common and associated with occlusal status, cognitive impairment and need for assistance in oral hygiene, moving and eating in older adults living in LTC.
  • van Lier, Lisanne I.; van der Roest, Henriette G.; Oosten, Babette S. H.; Garms-Homolova, Vjenka; Onder, Graziano; Finne-Soveri, Harriet; Jonsson, Palmi V.; Ljunggren, Gunnar; Henrard, Jean-Claude; Topinkova, Eva; Sorbye, Liv Wergeland; Bernabei, Roberto; van Hout, Hein P. J.; Bosmans, Judith E. (2019)
    BACKGROUND: The objective was to identify predictors of societal costs covering formal and informal care utilization by older home care clients in 11 European countries. METHODS : Societal costs of 1907 older clients receiving home care for 12 months from the Aged in Home care (AdHoc) study were estimated using the InterRAI Minimum Data Set for Home Care's (MDS-HC) resource use items. Predictors (medical, functional, and psychosocial domains) of societal costs were identified by performing univariate and multivariate generalized linear model analyses. RESULTS : Mean societal costs per participant were (sic)36 442, ranging from (sic)14 865 in Denmark to (sic)78 836 in the United Kingdom. In the final multivariate model, country, being married, activities of daily living (ADL) dependency, cognitive impairment, limitations of going out, oral conditions, number of medications, arthritis, and cerebro vascular accident (CVA) were significantly associated with societal costs. CONCLUSIONS: Of the predictors, ADL dependency and limitations of going out may be modifiable. Developing interventions targeted at improving these conditions may create opportunities to curtail societal costs.
  • Skullbacka, Simone (Helsingfors universitet, 2019)
    Many drugs are associated with the risk of QT prolongation and torsades de pointes (TdP). The risk increases with other risks factors for QT prolongation. Recognizing risk factors and QT prolonging drugs is critical in the management of this drug-related problem. The aim of this master’s thesis was to study the prevalence of use of QT prolonging drugs in older adults receiving home care. Additionally, the aim was to study concomitant use of QT prolonging drugs as well as clinically significant QT prolonging drug-drug interactions in the participants. The secondary objective was to study the most commonly used QT prolonging in the participants. The material used in this master’s thesis originated from a randomized controlled trial in City of Lohja, Finland, which enhanced a coordination in medication risk management for older home care clients. The analysis of the baseline data collected in fall 2015 was only deepened regarding QT prolonging drugs. The participants (n=188) were older adults (≥65 years) receiving regular home care from City of Lohja, randomized into an intervention group (n=101) and a control group (n=87). The majority of the participants were women (69%). The mean age of the participants was 83 years. Data on the participants’ drugs were collected from their medication lists. Clinically significant drug-drug interactions were identified using the SFINX database. The QTDrugs Lists of CredibleMeds were used for identifying drugs associated with QT prolongation and TdP. On average, the participants (n=188) used 2.3 drugs (SD 1.3, median 2.0) associated with QT prolongation and TdP. Of the participants, 36% (n=67) used drugs with known risk of TdP (QTDrugs List 1). The most commonly used drugs with known risk of TdP were donepezil and citalopram. The prevalence of QTDrugs List 2 drugs (possible risk of TdP) was 36% (n=67). Most of the participants (n=156, 83%) used drugs which under certain circumstances are associated with TdP (QTDrugs List 3). One fifth (21%) of the participants used concomitantly 2-3 drugs associated with QT prolongation and TdP. QT prolonging drugdrug interactions (SFINX-D interactions) were found in 3% of the participants. The drugs involved in the drug-drug interactions were donepezil, (es)citalopram and haloperidol. The prevalence of use of clinically relevant QT prolonging drugs (QTDrugs Lists 1-2) was higher in this study compared with the prevalence in outpatients in previous studies. Concomitant use of QT prolonging drugs is common in outpatients. Health care professionals need to be educated on the risks of QT prolongation, TdP and the risks of using QT prolonging drugs concomitantly. Risk assessment tools considering patient-specific risk factors could be more widely used, as they may reduce modifiable risk factors, and actual events of QT prolongation and TdP may be avoided. There is a need for systematic procedures for assessing and managing the risks of QT prolongation and TdP in the Finnish health care system.
  • Liposits, G; Eshoj, HR; Moller, S; Winther, SB; Skuladottir, H; Ryg, J; Hofsli, E; Shah, CH; Poulsen, LO; Berglund, A; Qvortrup, C; Osterlund, P; Glimelius, B; Sorbye, H; Pfeiffer, P (2021)
    Simple Summary Bowel cancer is one of the leading cancer-types in both sexes worldwide. Despite that most new cases and deaths occur in people aged 70 years or older, few clinical trials have investigated the best way to administer chemotherapy in older or frail patients. The NORDIC9-study established that moderately dose-reduced combination chemotherapy improved survival without extra side-effects compared to full dose single drug therapy. However, many older patients with incurable cancer seem to prefer preserved quality of life rather than longer survival. Therefore, our aim with the current quality of life analysis of the NORDIC9-study was to assess that the more effective chemotherapy was not at the expense of decreased quality of life. Our analyses showed that moderately dose-reduced combination chemotherapy-maintained quality of life, physical functioning, and resulted in less symptoms than treatment with full dose single drug in older patients not tolerating standard combination chemotherapy usually provided to young and fit patients. Quality of life data from randomized trials are lacking in older patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). In the randomized NORDIC9-study, reduced-dose S1+oxaliplatin (SOx) showed superior efficacy compared to full-dose S1 monotherapy. We hypothesized that treatment with SOx does not result in inferior quality of life. Patients with mCRC aged >= 70 years and that were not a candidate for standard combination chemotherapy were included and randomly assigned to receive either S1 or SOx. The EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire was completed at baseline, after 9, and 18 weeks. The primary endpoint was global Quality of Life (QoL) at 9 weeks. For statistical analysis, a non-inferiority design was chosen applying linear mixed effects models for repeated measurements. The results were interpreted according to statistical significance and anchor-based, clinically relevant between-group minimally important differences (MID). A total of 160 patients aged (median (Interquartile range (IQR))) 78 years (76-81) were included. The QLQ-C30 questionnaire was completed by 150, 100, and 60 patients at baseline, at 9, and 18 weeks, respectively. The difference at 9 weeks in global QoL was 6.85 (95%CI-1.94; 15.65) and 7.37 (0.70; 14.05) in the physical functioning domain in favor of SOx exceeding the threshold for MID. At 18 weeks, the between-group MID in physical functioning was preserved. Dose-reduced combination chemotherapy may be recommended in vulnerable older patients with mCRC, rather than full-dose monotherapy.
  • Hiltunen, Kaija; Saarela, Riitta K. T.; Kautiainen, Hannu; Roitto, Hanna-Maria; Pitkälä, Kaisu H.; Mäntylä, Päivi (2021)
    Background: oral frailty (OFr) may be called a syndrome lacking a consensus on its definition. Objective: the aim was to prove the relationship between OFr to the phenotype of frailty, general health and nutrition in long-term care. Design: the FINnish ORAL Health Study in Long-Term Care study is a cross-sectional clinical research comprising findings on oral and general health and nutrition. Setting: participants were divided into groups according to the number of OFr signs: Group 1 (0-1 sign), Group 2 (2-4 signs) and Group 3 (5-6 signs). Subjects: the study includes data on 349 older residents of long-term care facilities in Helsinki, Finland. Methods: frailty status was defined according to Fried's frailty phenotype. OFr was evaluated with six signs: dry mouth, diet of pureed or soft food, residue of food on oral surfaces, unclear speech, inability to keep mouth open during the clinical oral examination and pain expression during the examination. Results: a significant linear relationship across the OFr groups with Fried's frailty phenotype was found (P for linearity = 0.008, adjusted by gender and age). A linear trend existed between OFr groups and general health; prevalence of dementia and malnutrition increased from Group 1 to Group 3. The need for help with eating and oral hygiene procedures increased from Group 1 to Group 3. Moreover, OFr had a linear relationship with chewing and swallowing difficulties. Conclusions: OFr is related to Fried's frailty phenotype, general health, nutrition and need for help with daily activities.
  • Aalto, Ulla L.; Rantsi, Mervi; Juola, Anna-Liisa; Kautiainen, Hannu; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2022)
    Objective To investigate the effect of an educational intervention of nursing staff on change in psychotropic use and related costs among older long-term care residents. Design A secondary analysis of a randomized controlled intervention study with 12 months of follow-up. Setting Assisted living facilities in Helsinki, Finland. Subjects Older (>= 65 years) residents (N = 227) living in assisted living facility wards (N = 20) in Helsinki in 2011. Intervention The wards were randomized into two groups. In one group, the nursing staff received training on appropriate medication therapy and guidance to recognize potentially harmful medications and adverse effects (intervention group); in the other group, the nursing staff did not receive any additional training (control group). Main outcome measures Change of psychotropic use counted as relative proportions of WHO ATC-defined daily doses (rDDDs) among older long-term care residents. In addition, the change in drug costs was considered. Comparable assessments were performed at 0, 6, and 12 months. Results A significant decrease in both rDDDs and the cost of psychotropics was observed in the intervention group at 6 months follow-up. However, at 12 months, the difference between the intervention and control group had diminished. Conclusions Educational training can be effective in reducing the doses and costs of psychotropics. Further studies are warranted to investigate whether long-term effects can also be achieved by various educational interventions. Registration number ACTRN 12611001078943
  • Mustonen, Katri; Kauppila, Timo; Rahkonen, Ossi; Kantonen, Jarmo; Raina, Marko; Mäki, Tiina; Pitkälä, Kaisu (2019)
    Objective: It is generally expected that the growth of the older population will lead to an increase in the use of health care services. The aim was to examine the changes in the number of visits made to general practitioners (GP) by the older age groups, and whether such changes were associated with changes in mortality rates. Design and setting: A register-based observational study in a Finnish city where a significant increase in the older population took place from 2003 to 2014. The number of GP visits made by the older population was calculated, the visits per person per year in two-year series, together with respective mortality rates. Subjects: The study population consisted of inhabitants aged 65 years and older (65+) in Vantaa that visited a GP in primary health care. Main outcome measures: The number of GP visits per person per year in the whole older population during the study years. Results: In 2009-2010, there was a sudden drop in GP visits per person in the younger (65-74 years) age groups examined. In the population aged 85+, use of GP visits remained at a fairly constant level. The mortality rate decreased until the year 2008. After that, the positive trend ended and the mortality rate plateaued. Conclusions: Simultaneously with the decline in GP visits per person in the older population, the mortality rate leveled off from its positive trend in 2009-2010. Factors identified being associated with the number of GP consultations were organizational changes in primary health care, economic recession causing retrenchment, and even vaccinations during the swine flu epidemic.