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Bed blockers: A study on the elderly patients in a teaching hospital in India

By PN Kumar, N Shinge and S Parameshwar


A cross-sectional study of in-patients over the age of 60 years was conducted at district McGann Hospital, Shimoga on patients who were classified as bed blockers. Level of dependency and cognitive function of these patients were assessed using Barthel scale and Abbreviated mental test (AMT) respectively. Median age of the study population was 67 years; majority of them were men. Most of them were admitted in the medical ward and the median time to be labeled as bed blocker was 32 days. These bed blockers were a weak group of patients with an average 3.1 pathology per case. Majority of them suffered from neurological disorders and cardiovascular disease. High level of dependence was noted with a mean Barthel score of 29.68 (Range 0 -100). Low levels of cognitive function was also noted among these patients with a mean AMT of 4.76 (Range 0 -10).These findings demonstrate that the bed blockers in McGann hospital suffer not only from genuine health problems but also have a high dependency level in activities of daily living which hamper their discharge to the community. Community based rehabilitation using an intersectoral approach may help at least the less dependent to return home

Topics: Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences
Publisher: Dr. B.S. Kakkilaya
Year: 2010
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