The aim of this study was to create and measure the predictive validity of a screening instrument that identifies older people who are at risk for developing a need for long-term care within a year. This was an observational study, with participants allocated to either a derivation cohort or a validation cohort, in the United States. A nationally representative sample of older community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries (n = 6,538) participated in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Questions addressed sociodemographic, functional, health-related, and utilization characteristics in 1991 and 1992, linked to records of Medicare payments for health services during 1991-1992. In the derivation cohort, 14 self-reported characteristics were significant predictors of developing a need for long-term care within 1 year. In the validation cohort, these 14 characteristics identified a high-risk subgroup (18%) that, during the following year, developed a need for long-term care at six times the rate of the low-risk majority. This brief survey instrument identifies a high-risk minority of older people that will, during the following year, develop a need for long-term care at six times the rate of the low-risk majority. This instrument may be useful for targeting at-risk subgroups of older populations to receive interventions designed to preserve functional independence and avert the need for long-term care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy