Elderly patient's care dependency

Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, Ate Dijkstra, Helena Soini, Maija Liisa Antila, Renzo Zanotti, Theo Dassen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study investigated the dependency level of hospitalized elderly patients, to describe factors associated with elderly patients' care dependency in institutions, and to generate the information as the reliability and validity of the instrument used, the Care Dependency Scale (CDS) for measuring care dependency. Data were collected on 133 elderly patients in one health center with five wards in Finland. The original CDS was developed in the Netherlands providing a framework for the care dependency status of institutionalized patients. The CDS measures 15 human needs. The aspects of care dependency on which patients were the most dependent were unassisted participation in activities outside the facility, moving about unaided, and independent maintenance of personal hygiene. The lowest level of patient dependency was observed for patient communication, eating and drinking, and day/night pattern. The longer the patients' length of stay, the higher was the degree to which they depended on nursing care. Long-term stay patients were more dependent on nursing care than were short-term stay patients. The findings indicate that patients' dependency level was connected with their physical status. The CDS scale was used for the first time in Finland and is a promising measure for evaluating the dependency level of elderly patients to generate information about patients' everyday care needs in Finland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalHallym International Journal of Aging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Dependency
  • Elderly patients
  • Needs
  • Nursing care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • General Social Sciences
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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