Service use of older people who participate in primary care health promotion: a latent class analysis

John A. Ford, Kalpa Kharicha, Caroline S. Clarke, Allan Clark, Steve Iliffe, Claire Goodman, Jill Manthorpe, Nick Steel, Kate Walters

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Background: Recruiting patients to health promotion programmes who will benefit is crucial to success. A key policy driver for health promotion in older people is to reduce health and social care use. Our aim was to describe service use among older people taking part in the Multi-dimensional Risk Appraisal for Older people primary care health promotion programme.

Methods: A random sample of 1 in 3 older people (≥65 years old) was invited to participate in the Multi-dimensional Risk Appraisal for Older people project across five general practices in London and Hertfordshire. Data collected included socio-demographic characteristics, well-being and functional ability, lifestyle factors and service use.

Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to identify groups based on use of the following: secondary health care, primary health care, community health care, paid care, unpaid care, leisure and local authority resources. Differences in group characteristics were assessed using univariate logistic regression, weighted by probability of class assignation and clustered by GP practice.

Results: Response rate was 34% (526/1550) with 447 participants presenting sufficient data for analysis. LCA using three groups gave the most meaningful interpretation and best model fit. About a third (active well) were fit and active with low service use. Just under a third (high NHS users) had high impairments with high primary, secondary and community health care contact, but low non-health services use. Just over a third (community service users) with high impairments used community health and other services without much hospital use.

Conclusion: Older people taking part in the Multi-dimensional Risk Appraisal for Older people primary care health promotion can be described as three groups: active well, high NHS users, and community service users.
Original languageEnglish
Article number176
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2017

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