Healthcare providers' perspectives: estimating the impact of chronicity.

Sharon K. Falkenstern, Susan J. Loeb, Sarah H. Gueldner, Janice Penrod, Leonard W. Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To compare elders' self-ratings of the impact of their chronic conditions with healthcare providers' estimates of the impact of the same conditions on older adults. The effect of length of time in clinical practice and rural or urban clientele on healthcare providers' impact ratings was also explored. DATA SOURCES: A pen-and-paper survey was administered to 122 community-dwelling adults aged 55 years and older, attending health education or exercise programs held by a hospital in a city of approximately 60,000 people. Elders were asked to identify which of 11 common chronic conditions they had and then to rate the impact each condition had on their daily lives. A sample of 290 healthcare providers who are members of the Gerontological Society of America completed a mailed survey asking them to estimate the impact that each of the 11 conditions had on older adults. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare providers consistently overestimated the impact that chronic health conditions had on older adults when compared with the elders' self-ratings of impact. Greater levels of experience were not significantly related to providers' impact ratings of chronic conditions. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Nurse practitioners, as primary care providers, must understand the impact of chronic conditions on older adults' daily lives in order to provide effective, efficient, and evidence-based health care. This study points to the need for more research to discover why older adults and healthcare providers have such different perspectives on the impact of chronic health conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-199
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing


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