Date of Award

9-16-2010

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Lisa M. Walke

Abstract

Older patients suffer from a greater number of medical morbidities, consume a greater number of prescribed medications, and report lower levels of quality of life than their younger counterparts. The objectives of this study were to determine whether there is 1) an association between medical morbidity and symptom burden or 2) an association between medication use and symptom burden. This was a cross-sectional study of the symptoms, medical morbidities, and medications reported by 159 community-dwelling male patients 65 years of age or older. Correlations were drawn using linear regression analysis. On average, the participants in this study suffered from 2.56 +/- 1.36 medical morbidities, were prescribed 7.91+/- 2.83 medications, and reported 3.17 symptoms at any severity. The results of this study demonstrated a direct correlation between number of medical morbidities and symptom burden (R2 = 0.94). Our study did not find a significant correlation between medication use and symptom burden (R2 = 0.20). The findings of this study suggest that the number of medical morbidities has a stronger negative impact on symptom burden than the number of medications used. Thus, when attempting to improve quality of life for older patients, physicians should focus on the treatment and alleviations of symptoms associated with medical morbidity.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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