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Provider discussion of health goals and psychosocial needs: Comparing older to younger veteran experience.

Cogan AM, Saliba D, Steers WN, Frochen S, Lynch KA, Ganz DA, Washington DL. Provider discussion of health goals and psychosocial needs: Comparing older to younger veteran experience. Health services research. 2023 Feb 1; 58 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):9-15.

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OBJECTIVE: To examine by age, the veterans' report on whether components of age-friendly health systems were discussed during primary care visits. DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SETTING: Veterans Affairs (VA) Survey of Healthcare Experience of Patients from October 2015 to September 2019. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey of VA users by age group (18-44?years, 45-64?years, 65+ years; N  =  1,042,318). We used weighted logistic regression models to evaluate disparities in whether veterans discussed with anyone in their provider's office: health goals, depression symptoms, stress, personal problems, and medications. Models were adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics (sex, socioeconomic status, education, rurality) and comorbidity. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHOD: Surveys were administered by mail and online. Additional veteran characteristics were extracted from VA administrative data. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In unadjusted analyses, VA users age 18-44 had a higher (-8.2%; CI: -9.0, -7.3) and users aged 45 to 64 had lower (4.0%; CI: 3.7, 4.3) predicted, probably discussing health goals compared to age 65+. Fewer VA users age 65+ reported discussing depression symptoms, personal problems, and stress than other age groups, whereas more VA users age 65+ discussed medications. Results were unchanged after adjusting for socio-demographics and comorbidity. CONCLUSIONS: Delivery of goal-concordant care relies on understanding the needs of individual patients. Lower rates of discussing what matters and mood represent potential missed opportunities to deliver age-friendly care for older veterans.

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