Does our healthcare system truly fit older people? Impact of multidimensional health trajectories on the use of medical and social care services

PI: Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga, amaia.calderon.larranaga@ki.se

Health and health changes in older adults are characterized by great heterogeneity. Thus, their needs and demand for health care also vary widely. A more personalized characterization of the care needs of older people is required to inform policy makers and to provide stakeholders with more reliable healthcare management tools.

Data from the 3363-participant Swedish National study of Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K), derived from extensive assessments over more than 15 years, will enable us to study the relationship between health status and healthcare use in a comprehensive and longitudinal manner. Our ultimate goal is to better align the organization and provision of health care with the medical and social care needs of the populations they now serve. To achieve this goal, we aim to (1) identify distinct multidimensional health trajectories in the older population, (2) examine the relationship between these health trajectories and use of medical and social services, and (3) explore how different social and psychosocial factors moderate this association.

The proposed research will allow us to (a) understand health in old age from a person-centered perspective by considering its complexity and between- and within- individual heterogeneity and (b) provide the evidence needed by healthcare managers to deliver better care at a more appropriate time and place.

The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare (Forte).