Time spent on health-related activities by senior Australians with chronic diseases: What is the role of multimorbidity and comorbidity?

M. Mofizul Islam*, Ian S. McRae, Laurann Yen, Tanisha Jowsey, Jose M. Valderas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To examine the effect of various morbidity clusters of chronic diseases on health-related time use and to explore factors associated with heavy time burden (more than 30 hours/month) of health-related activities. 

Methods: Using a national survey, data were collected from 2,540 senior Australians. Natural clusters were identified using cluster analysis and clinical clusters using clinical expert opinion. We undertook a set of linear regressions to model people's time use, and logistic regressions to model heavy time burden. 

Results: Time use increases with the number of chronic diseases. Six of the 12 diseases are significantly associated with higher time use, with the highest effect for diabetes followed by depression; 18% reported a heavy time burden, with diabetes again being the most significant disease. Clusters and dominant comorbid groupings do not contribute to predicting time use or time burden. 

Conclusions: Total number of diseases and specific diseases are useful determinants of time use and heavy time burden. Dominant groupings and disease clusters do not predict time use. Implications: In considering time demands on patients and the need for care co-ordination, care providers need to be aware of how many and what specific diseases the patient faces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

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