International Journal of Research in Nursing

Mental Health, Quality of Life and Medication Use Among Care Home Residents and Community Dwelling Older People

Marie O’Neill, Assumpta Ryan, Paul Slater, Finola Ferry and Brendan Bunting

DOI : 10.3844/ijrnsp.2019.10.23

International Journal of Research in Nursing

Volume 10, 2019

Pages 10-23

Abstract

In most countries, the prevalence of depression in care homes is substantially higher than among community-dwelling older people. Negative media reports and the stigma associated with long-term care perpetuates the belief that community care is associated with a better quality of life than nursing or residential home care. The aim of this paper is to investigate mental health, quality of life and medication use among a sample of care home residents and community dwelling older people. This cross-sectional study comprised of structured interviews with 75 care home residents and 852 community dwelling older adults in a large health and social care trust within the U.K. Data were collected using an abridged version of the World Mental Health-Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WMH-CIDI). Health-related quality of life was assessed using the SF-6D, derived from responses to the SF-12, which was embedded within the screening section of the WMH-CIDI. Results showed a significantly lower level of mental disorders among older people in the care home sample. Health-related quality of life results indicated that although care home participants were significantly more limited in their physical functioning, they reported better mental health and social functioning than older people living in the community. These results were statistically significant. Prescription rates for mental health medication were higher in the care home sample. This study provides tentative findings about mental health and quality of life in care homes, which should be further explored in future research. The study addresses the negative public perception of quality of life in care homes while contributing to the debate around the health care implications of ‘ageing in place’ for older people. There is a need to address the relationship between mental health, quality of life and medication use among older people across a range of care settings.

Copyright

© 2019 Marie O’Neill, Assumpta Ryan, Paul Slater, Finola Ferry and Brendan Bunting. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.