GP visits 'predict care home deaths'
By Stephen Robinson, 17 January 2013
GP call-outs and medication use are strong predictors of mortality risk for care home patients, a study has shown.
Authors said the findings should help GPs identify patients that may benefit from end-of-life care.
Understanding a person's risk of dying is vital to clinical and palliative care, they said. Yet there is a 'paucity' of research into care home mortality.
Patients in care homes are also more likely to be exception reported from QOF chronic disease targets, they said.
Researchers from St George’s University of London compared data on 9,772 elderly residents of care homes cared for by 293 general practices and 354,306 community residents in 2009.
Over 26% of care home residents died within one year, compared with 3.3% of community residents.
An analysis showed age was a weaker predictor of mortality risk in care homes than in the community.
The strongest predictors in both settings were the number of drug classes prescribed and contacts with primary care, in person or by phone, in the past three months.
Lead author Dr Sunil Shah said: 'Care home residents are a vulnerable group. It is important to understand mortality in care homes in order to ensure that residents receive appropriate elective, preventive and palliative care.'
He added: 'Our findings should help GPs have timely discussions with patients and their relatives about preferences for end-of-life care.'
- Related MIMS Tables
- Co-Analgesics for Use in Cancer Pain
Latest Articles from GP
- Exclusive: GP access pilots secure top-up funding worth millions of pounds
- GPs urged to offer greater choice of contraception
- GPs fear diagnostics meltdown as industrial action looms
- #WeekInReview - 17 April: Practices threatened with closure, get your arse to the doctors and #bowelcancer
- Vitamin D deficiency doubles risk of chronic musculoskeletal pain
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- Salaried GP Gloucester House Medical Centre Competitive Salary , Urmston, Trafford
- Full or part-time Salaried GP Opportunity, Hampshire Coast Merco Excellent salary + GMC paid, Hampshire, South East region
- GP Jobs Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada EU Health Staff Ltd Between $280,000 and $325,000 or more , North America
- CAMBRIDGE - Salaried GP - Excellent Salary - Full Bens Package Dream Medical Ltd c£80,000 (neg) + OUTSTANDING BENEFITS PACKAGE + BONUS SCHEME, Cambridgeshire
- LEAD GP - PICTURESQUE KENT - EXCELLENT SALARY & BENEFITS Dream Medical Ltd c£90000 (fulltime) + Full benefits package, Kent
- GP - with or without MRCGP - Coastal Queensland - Australia Head Medical 60% billing, Queensland / North Queensland