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Document Typology: Newspaper / Magazine article
Methodology addressed by the publication:International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
Title of document: Atención sanitaria paliativa y de soporte de los equipos de atención primaria en el domicilio
Name of author(s): Tomás Vegaa, Enrique Arrietab, José E. Lozanoa, Maite Mirallesc, Yolanda Anesd, Cristina Gomezd, Carmen Quiñonese, Milagros Peruchae, Mario Margollesf, José Ángel Gómez de Casog, Milagros Gil a, Socorro Fernándeza, Purificación de la Iglesia h, Aurora Lópezc, Rufino Álamoa, Óscar Zurriagac y Julián Mauro Ramosi, por el Grupo RECENT
Name of publisher: Gaceta Sanitaria
Language of the publication: Spanish
Language of the review: English
"Objectives: To estimate the proportion of people requiring palliative and support care at home in primary care and to describe their characteristics.
Methods: A descriptive study was carried out by five Spanish sentinel networks between October 2007 and March 2008 in 282,216 people attended by 218 general practitioners and nurses. Patients receiving comprehensive, active and continued care at home were included if the aim was not to prolong life but
to achieve the best quality of life for the patient, the family and the carers. A standard form was used to collect data on age, sex, type of patient, underlying diseases and other variables related to the process. Crude and age-adjusted rates were estimated.
Results: Of the 400 men and 792 women registered, 12% were strictly terminal. The mean age was 82.4 years and was higher in patients with functional disability (82.9 years) than in terminally-ill patients (78.9 years) (p < 0.01). The estimated prevalence was 422.3 per 100,000 inhabitants aged 14 years or more (95% CI: 398.7-447.0) and was much higher in women than in men (553.9 versus 287.3, p < 0.01). The estimate for the entire Spanish population was 309.0 per 100,000 inhabitants (95% CI: 286.0-332.0).
Conclusions: The prevalence of palliative and support care in Spain is around three cases per 1,000 inhabitants and is higher in elderly populations. More than 85% of patients needing palliative or support care have a life expectancy of over 6 months and thus represent the majority of persons using this type of
medical and social support. The most susceptible groups are women and the oldest-old."
Reviewer's comments on the document:
This paper describes the different situation that are meant to receibe palliative home health care in Spain. This is importan as far as this kind of care is delivered to patiens whose quality of life has diminished because of their illness and this kind of care is able to enhance that quality of life in the final stage of their lives.
The article stresses that it is very important to have into account that there has to be change of focuss because more than 85% of those patients live more than 6 months and not only a few weeks so the care has to be provided within that basis.
This is a very wide study that make enphasis in the importance of the sentinel networks in order to give the proper treatment to terminal and chronic patients.
Where to find it:

Gaceta Sanitaria 2011;25(3):205-210

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