The aim of our study was to assess the level of knowledge and practices of health professionals regarding health status and health care services for older people in post-war Kosovo. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in February-March 2013 in Kosovo including a nationwide representative sample of 412 physicians working at primary, secondary and tertiary health care levels (220 males, mean age: 45.6 +/- 9.3 years; 192 females, mean age: 46.4 +/- 9.1 years; overall response rate: 91%). A structured questionnaire was administered to all participants inquiring about physicians' level of knowledge and practices regarding different domains of older people's health status and health care services. Overall, 38% of physicians did not know the estimated proportion of older people in Kosovo. About 31% and 22% of female and male physicians, respectively, estimated quite correctly the prevalence of chronic morbidity among older people in Kosovo. The percentage of male physicians who reported screening about issues related to autonomy of older people was higher than in female physicians (64% vs. 54%, respectively, P = 0.035). Similarly, male participants reported a higher frequency of screening for social isolation and confusion than their female counterparts. Conversely, there were no sex-differences with regard to screening for issues related to domestic violence, mental health, eating or feeding problems, skin breakdown, incontinence, or evidence of falls among the elderly. Our findings point to rather unsatisfactory levels of physicians' knowledge about health status of the elderly and inadequate practices regarding the health care services for older people in Kosovo. There is an urgent need to introduce continuous medical training programs regarding health care services for older people in transitional Kosovo.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 01-12-2013|
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