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vol. 54
Original paper

Differences in selected medical care parameters in rheumatic disease ward patients of different ages of life

Piotr Pobrotyn
Robert Susło
Izabela Witczak
Piotr Milczanowski
Jarosław Drobnik

Reumatologia 2016; 54, 2: 54-60
Online publish date: 2016/06/03
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Introduction: Rheumatic diseases are becoming more and more common in Poland with the ageing of the population. Nearly 18% of the total hospital admissions in Poland result from rheumatic diseases, which was equivalent to 350 thousand cases in the year 2008. These diseases tend to last for many decades, decreasing both the quality of life and income of the patients as well as increasing the medical institutions’ workload and society’s financial burden.

The aim of the study was to determine whether the medical care parameters in a rheumatic disease hospital ward show any significant differences among different patient age groups – especially such that would support taking them into account as a basis for adjusting the financial coverage level of medical services.

Material and methods: Data on hospitalizations at the Rheumatic Diseases Ward of Wroclaw University Hospital in Wroclaw in the years 2009–2015 were analyzed, taking into account the age groups, number of hospital admissions, their duration and causes. Relevant statistical data analysis was performed.

Discussion: The study revealed that the number of old patients hospitalized at the rheumatic diseases ward increased over the last 6 years and that such statistically significant differences do exist: on average the old patients not only tend to stay much longer at the hospital, but also suffer from a different and more diverse spectrum of diseases in comparison to their younger counterparts.

Conclusions: The detected differences in medical care parameters support the need for more individualized medical care and increased cost of the hospital stay in the case of older patients. Consequently, those factors justify the necessity to increase the value of medical services in the case of old patients, possibly also taking into account the variation between age subgroups.

rheumatic diseases, pharmacoeconomics, public health

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