RESEARCH PAPER
Wellbeing and older adults in primary health care in Poland
 
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1
Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland
2
Ateneum University, Gdańsk, Poland
 
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction and objective:
The Polish health service is in need of improvement because of the increasing number of geriatric patients. Identifying the resources available to patients is important for ameliorating deficits. The goal of this research was to measure the health and wellbeing of seniors and to investigate to what extent health services meet their needs. Differences in access and scope of received services between patients from different localities (i.e villages, small towns and big cities) were analysed.

Material and methods:
Questionnaires (Satisfaction with Life Scale; VAS Numeric Pain Distress Scale) and a structured interview assessing the quality of healthcare were carried out in 2015 on a sample of 459 seniors. Each candidate gave consent for participation in the study. Statistica 12.5 software was used for analyses.

Results:
The overall measure of satisfaction with life of the respondents (M=22.34 SD=5.78) was good. Inhabitants of small towns had a significantly lower sense of quality of life than seniors from big cities (Tukey HSD = 0.047, p<.05). Multimorbidity and polypharmacy were present to a limited extent. The issue of discrimination of older individuals by medical personnel affected a fifth of seniors living in villages, and one- third of those living in big cities. Geriatric patients did not have equal opportunities for access to medical services.

Conclusions:
State-provided geriatric care is insufficient and does not meet the real needs of patients. A holistic care approach and/or individualized care for older adults are often indicated but are only theoretical constructs in Poland. This inefficient system places the burden of caregiving on the family of the ageing patient. Anxiety among geriatric patients is growing regarding exclusion and lack of care.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Aleksandra Błachnio   
Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Chodkiewicza 30, 85-064 Bydgoszcz, Poland
 
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