Patient-reported safety incidents in older patients with long-term conditions: A large cross-sectional study.

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Background Increasing evidence suggests that patient safety is a serious concern for older patients with long-term conditions. Despite this, there is a lack of research on safety incidents encountered by this patient group. In this study we sought to examine patient-reports of safety incidents and factors associated with reports of safety incidents in older patients with long-term conditions.

Methods The baseline cross-sectional data from a longitudinal cohort study were analysed. Older patients (n= 3378 aged 65 years and over) with a long-term condition registered in general practices were included in the study. The main outcome was patient-reported safety incidents including availability and appropriateness of medical tests and prescription of wrong types or doses of medication. Binary univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were undertaken to examine factors associated with patient-reported safety incidents.

Results Safety incidents were reported by 11% of the patients. Four factors were significantly associated with patient-reported safety incidents in multivariate analyses. The experience of multiple long-term conditions (OR= 1.09, 95%CI=1.05-1.13), a probable diagnosis of depression (OR= 1.36, 95%CI=1.06-1.74), and greater relational continuity of care (OR=1.28, 95%CI=1.08-1.52) were associated with increased odds for patient-reported safety incidents. Perceived greater support and involvement in self-management was associated with lower odds for patient-reported safety incidents (OR=0.95, 95%CI=0.93-0.97).

Conclusions We found that older patients with multimorbidity and depression are more likely to report experiences of patient safety incidents. Improving perceived support and involvement of patients in their care may help prevent patient-reported safety incidents.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere013524
JournalBMJ Open
Early online date30 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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