Oldest Old in General Practice

Danish Aging Research Center

General Practice is the primary provider of health care in Denmark from cradle to grave and has consequently the main responsibility for coordinating care and treating most chronic diseases. But have the patterns of treatment and utilization of health services to old people changed over recent decades and are these patterns related to the patient’s health, functioning, well-being, and socioeconomic position?

GPs incorporate patient's need and preferences when providing healthcare to their patients, but huge variation in quality and services provided by general practice can be observed. Even though old people account for the majority of the GPs’ consultations, research has not addressed the quality of care and services provided to old people in the last years of their life, and how these matters relate to functioning, well-being and socioeconomic position.

Survey information on functioning and perceived well-being of Danes born between 1895 and 1915 combined with the Danish registers are a perfect match to investigate time trends among the oldest old in a general practice setting as well as the interaction with the rest of the health care sector.

  1. Have health care management changed over time for different chronic diseases in the general practice, and how do patients and health care professionals perceive health care provided by GPs?
  2. To what extent are level of function, socioeconomic position and existence of chronic diseases associated with health care management in general practice, and how have the observed use pattern(s) changed over time?
  3. To what extent has the perception of well-being changed over time an dhow is this linked to health care management?

The combination of qualitative data based on interviews with users (old patients) and health care providers and from our user-panel raises the potential for this work package to identify areas where the services provided by general practice to the oldest old patients in the last years of their life could be improved.

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