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The Gerontologist, Vol 34, Issue 1 116-120, Copyright © 1994 by The Gerontological Society of America


Home care research: what does it tell us?

NL Chappell
Department of Sociology, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

This article assesses the applied relevance of research on home care, reviewing the literature on predictors of use of home care services, the experience of receiving home care, and efficacy studies. Research to date informs us rather conclusively that functioning is a major predictor of use throughout the industrialized world, but does not inform us of the structural factors impacting on home care. Studies on the experience of home care, to date, have focused on program implementation issues, rather than more macro policy issues. Finally, efficacy studies by and large have not concluded that home care is less costly or necessarily better for the quality of life of seniors when compared with institutional care. This has led to questions about the raison d'etre of home care. We do not have longitudinal research assessing the long-term preventive effects of home care.

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Copyright © 1994 by The Gerontological Society of America.