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Utilization of formal and informal home care by AIDS patients in Boston: a comparison of intravenous drug users and homosexual males.

Authors
  • Ettner, S L
  • Weissman, J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Medical Care
Publisher
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
May 01, 1994
Volume
32
Issue
5
Pages
459–470
Identifiers
PMID: 8182974
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The assumption that intravenous (i.v.) drug users have weaker informal support networks than homosexual men has led to opposing policy recommendations: one emphasizes outreach and more formal (paid) home care for i.v. drug users, whereas the other maintains that formal home care programs are less effective for this risk group due to the lack of informal (unpaid) caregivers to coordinate efforts. Data from interviews with a sample of 231 persons with AIDS in the Boston area were used to compare the use of formal and informal home care between the two largest risk groups, homosexual men and i.v. drug users. Multivariate regression analysis was also employed to adjust estimates and to determine the significance of population characteristics in explaining utilization differences. IV drug users received about twice as much formal and informal home care as homosexual men. Controlling for functional status, income and assets, insurance and potential caregiver supply, i.v. drug users obtained significantly fewer formal home care services, but more informal care. Overall, i.v. drug users received a greater number of adjusted home care hours. These findings cast doubt upon the previous assumptions of the literature and suggest that members of both risk groups are appropriate candidates for formal home care services.

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