This study explored service use within a geriatric services program; specifically, it explored how a geriatric day hospital fits into a broad spectrum of services in Victoria, B.C.. Clients were studied in five geriatric care settings: an outpatient clinic, a day hospital, post-acute inpatient rehabilitation, residential rehabilitation, and inpatient psychogeriatric rehabilitation. The researchers wished to determine if patient needs could best be served by such specialized services, supporting the continuum of care concept, or if in fact inpatient and other services could be substituted. They found that each service did appear to address a particular need or constellation of needs, based on their study of mental and physical health, daily functioning and bodily pain. This finding supports the notion of an integrated hospital-based system of outpatient and inpatient services for geriatric clients. The study encountered several challenges, including time limitations and a restructuring of outpatient programs during the research period, leading to a substantial reduction in sample size. As a result, researchers could not complete a cost-effectiveness analysis.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.