Do characteristics of informal caregivers affect the length of hospital stay for frail elders

UMMS Affiliation

New England Research Institute



Document Type



Adult; Aged; Caregivers; Continuity of Patient Care; Female; Forecasting; Frail Elderly; Home Nursing; Humans; Interviews; Length of Stay; Linear Models; Male; Massachusetts; Middle Aged; Residence Characteristics


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


Studies examining the length of hospital stay for the very old rarely include characteristics of the informal caregiver as potentially explanatory variables. This study expanded a frequently used conceptual model of health services use to include caregiving factors as enabling variables. Data were collected from a representative sample of frail elders who had been hospitalized in the previous 18 months (n = 181) and their primary informal caregivers. The findings indicate that elders whose primary caregiver was a coresiding offspring had shorter hospitalization than elders whose offspring caregiver lived in different households. These data indicate that the amount of variance explained by this conceptual model is increased when social factors are included as explanatory variables.

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Citation: J Aging Health. 1994 May;6(2):255-69.

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