Hong Kong Med J 1997;3:362-8 | Number 4, December 1997
Morbidity patterns of persons waiting for infirmary care in Hong Kong
LW Chu, CKW Pei
Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Ageing of the Hong Kong population is associated with an increased prevalence of physical and mental disability. For persons with severe disability, infirmary care is needed. In the present study, the morbidity pattern of persons waiting for infirmary service in Hong Kong was studied. Two hundred and four consecutive Central Infirmary Waiting List persons were included in the study. Clinical assessment was based on history review and physical examination. The commonest diagnoses giving rise to severe disability in this population, 89.2% of whom were elderly (aged greater-than-or-equal65 years), in descending order of prevalence were stroke (40.2%), dementia (27.0%), proximal femoral fracture (7.4%), and parkinsonism (5.9%); 67.5% of subjects were dependent physically. For cognitive function, 87.3% had a subnormal Abbreviated Mental Test score of less-than-or-equal5. Approximately 80% had urinary incontinence and/or bowel incontinence. For the outcome of assessment, 93.6% needed infirmary care, while 6.4% did not. More adequate provision of infirmary beds, innovative medical, nursing, and social home-support programmes, and effective prevention and rehabilitation programmes for patients with these disabling diseases are urgently needed in Hong Kong.
Key words: Aged; Disability evaluation; Hong Kong; Morbidity; Outcome and process assessment (health care)
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