Quality of private personal care for elderly people with a disability living at home: Correlates and potential outcomes

Claudio Bilotta, Carlo Vergani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate correlates of the quality of private personal care for community-dwelling elderly people, this cross-sectional study enrolled 100 elderly outpatients living at home, along with their private aides and 88 informal caregivers, from May 2005 to January 2007. Cases were stratified according to the quality of private care as was described by both elderly participants and informal caregivers. In cases where the elderly person was suffering from overt cognitive impairment, only the opinions of the informal caregivers were taken into account. A comparison was made between the 'poor or fair care' group (n = 16), the 'intermediate care' group (n = 39) and the 'optimal care' group (n = 45). Considering the characteristics of private aides, there was a significant trend across the three groups in terms of language skills (P = 0.002) and level of distress with life conditions (P = 0.020). A statistical analysis performed on elderly participants without an overt cognitive impairment (n = 59) and informal caregivers showed an increase in the European Quality of Life Visual Analogue Scale score in the elderly group [mean ± standard deviation (SD) were, respectively, 45 ± 23.2, 63.7 ± 19.7 and 68.8 ± 21.6; P = 0.007], and a decrease in the Caregiver Burden Inventory score (mean ± SD were, respectively, 34.9 ± 25.3, 26 ± 17.7 and 17.6 ± 14.6; P = 0.020) across the three groups. We found no significant difference between elderly people in the three groups in terms of social variables, functional and cognitive status, prevalence of depressive disorders and morbidity. Therefore, good language skills and non-distressing life conditions of private aides appeared to be correlates of an optimal quality of care for community-dwelling elderly people with a disability, and also a better quality of life for them and less distress for their informal caregivers appeared to be potential outcomes of the quality of personal care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Caregiver burden
  • Elderly people
  • Private personal aides
  • Quality of care
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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