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Portuguese Journal of Public Health

Print version ISSN 2504-3137On-line version ISSN 2504-3145


SANTANA, Rui et al. The Influence of Providers' and Patients'Characteristics on Resource Use in Long-Term Care Inpatient Units. Port J Public Health [online]. 2017, vol.35, n.2, pp.114-125. ISSN 2504-3137.

Introduction: For the aging population, as well as for the growing prevalence of chronic diseases and multipathology, new answers have been found with the creation of the Portuguese National Long Term Care Network (PNLTCN) in 2006. It is expected that this additional level of care provision can create value for patients. Objective: This study aimed to estimate resource use in long-term care inpatient units in Portugal and to analyze its association with providers' and patients' characteristics. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective study using information from the PNLTCN units between 2010 and 2012. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed, including the logarithm of length of stay as dependent variable and variables on patients' and providers' characteristics as predictors. Results: For the 30,090 admissions included, the average length of stay was 34.2 days for Convalescent Care Units, 84.1 days for Medium Stay and Rehabilitation Units, and 106 days for Long Stay and Maintenance Units. Significant dispersion was found for all regions and type of providers. Patients' characteristics alone showed low predictive capacity. The inclusion of providers' characteristics increased the model's predictive ability to explain the length of stay. Conclusions: Multiple regression model results suggest that resource utilization in long-term care is mainly influenced by the characteristics of the providers. Future development should include improvements on data collection procedures and the implementation of a risk-adjusted patient classification system internationally validated for long term care

Keywords : Health services organization and management; Continuity of care; Costs in health organizations.

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