Eur J Intern Med 26:197-202.
Basque Institute for Healthcare Innovation, Barakaldo, Spain; Osakidetza (Basque Health Service), Erandio, Spain; Department of Health, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM), Spain
INTRODUCTION: Multimorbidity is more common in the elderly population and negatively affects health-related quality of life (QoL). The aims of the study were to report the QoL of users of the Basque telecare public service (BTPS) and to establish its relationship with multimorbidity.
METHODS: The EuroQol questionnaire was administered to 1125 users of the service. Their sociodemographic and healthcare characteristics were obtained from BTPS databases and the Basque healthcare service. Multiple regression analysis was performed on the overall questionnaire index to determine the effect of chronic diseases and sociodemographic. Moreover, the effects of the different diseases on specific dimensions of the test were explored by logistic regression.
RESULTS: Of the users interviewed, 82% were women, 88% ≥75 years and 66% lived alone. The average of chronic pathologies was higher among men (5.3 vs. 4.6), for the lower age range and among those not living alone (P0.001). For QoL, men and people aged over 84 obtained better scores (0.64 and 0.61, respectively). Worse QoL was associated with being a woman, multimorbidity, and living with one or more people. The existence of multimorbidity meant impaired QoL of 2.6 points for each additional disease over the overall score (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals that for the population covered by BTPS the impact of chronic pathologies, multimorbidity and their social context affects QoL very diversely. These diverse social and healthcare needs of community-dwelling elders allow the development and implementation of personalised services, such as telecare that facilitate them to remain at home.
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