Investigation of the reasons and frequency of geriatric patients applying to the emergency department
Aim: To determine the reasons for choosing the emergency department in patients aged 65 and over who applied to the emergency department and investigate the effect of their use of primary health care services on the frequency of emergency department visits.
Methods: The study is a prospective cross-sectional study. It was performed in the emergency department of a university tertiary hospital between 1 November 2017 and 30 April 2018. Demographic characteristics of patients aged 65 and over who applied to the emergency department, the reasons for applying to the emergency department and their use of primary health care services were evaluated with a questionnaire. The data were statistically analyzed.
Results: 242 patients were included in the study. 57.9% (n: 140) of the patients were male. 82.2% of the patients stated that they applied to the emergency department at least three times in a year. When the reasons for applying to the emergency department were examined, it was seen that the most common reason (35.5% n: 86) was not wanting to wait in line in the outpatient clinic. 33.5% (n: 81) of the patients did not know their family doctor and 41.3% (n: 100) did not use primary health care services.
Conclusion: It has been observed that the problems experienced during outpatient services in patients aged 65 and over and the status of benefiting from primary health care services in this age group are effective factors on the frequency of emergency department visits.
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