The Quality of Care Received by Older Patients in 15 University-Based Ambulatory Practices

Published In: Journal of Medical Education, v. 63, no. 3, Mar. 1988, p. 155-161

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1988

by Albert L. Siu, Barbara Leake, Robert H. Brook

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To evaluate how the medical problems of older patients are managed in university-based internal medicine practices, the authors reviewed the medical records of 1,527 outpatients treated at 15 university teaching hospitals. Specific treatments for hypertension or diabetes had similar frequencies in patients 65 years of age and over and in patients under age 65. However, although the medical records mentioned hypertension in 43 percent and diabetes in 12 percent of the patients 65 or over, dementia and incontinence were recorded in only 0.4 percent and 2 percent, respectively. This finding suggests either that these elderly patients were extremely atypical or that their geriatric problems were unrecognized.

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