Objectives: Are people 75 or over enabled to stay at home longer through annual assessments and referrals to health/social services than through assessments only or without assessments?
Design: randomized controlled trial
Participants: 520 people 75 or over living in their own homes
Intervention: Four annual RAI-HC computerized functional assessments. Intervention group 1: elders and primary caregivers received the results and were invited to take appropriate actions. Intervention group 2: elders and primary caregivers were offered referrals to health/social services.
Measurements/Outcomes: death, institutionalization, home care services, RAI-HC scores, self-rated health, perceived self-efficacy, caregiver burden
Results: By the end of the study, annual functional assessment and offers of referrals to health/social services led to a greater use of home care (6.3%) than did assessment alone (1.8%), but there were no significant differences in death rates, institutionalization, perceived self-efficacy, self-rated health status, or caregiver burden scores between groups.
Conclusion: We discovered that this was a group of healthy seniors. Multi-dimensional functional assessment is time- and labour-intensive and should be targeted at the minority of least self-reliant seniors.