Barriers to outpatient care in community-dwelling elderly with dementia: The role of caregiver life satisfaction
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between informal caregiver life satisfaction and receipt of outpatient medical care in persons with dementia. We obtained data from the National Longitudinal Caregiver Survey (NLCS), a survey of 1,269 veterans with dementia and their primary informal caregivers. NLCS data were merged with 12 months of Veteran Administration outpatient claims. Outpatient visits were classified as (a) primary, (b) specialty, or (c) mental health care. Greater levels of caregiver-reported life dissatisfaction were associated with decreased likelihood of care-recipient outpatient visits for both primary and mental health care. In addition, we found that care-recipients with African American caregivers were less likely to receive a mental health visit, and those coresiding with their caregiver were more likely to receive a specialty care visit. Our findings suggest that low caregiver life satisfaction may signal an impending breakdown in care-recipients' access to primary and mental health care. © 2009 The Southern Gerontological Society.
Thorpe, JM; Van Houtven, CH; Sleath, BL
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