Day hospitals have been a part of service delivery to older adults for almost fifty
years. However, the experiences of attendees appear to have been under
investigated. The aim of this study was to assess the views of older adults attending
a psychogeriatric day hospital in Fife and to examine the social support within this
day hospital and its links to psychological 'well-being'.
25 older adult day hospital attendees were interviewed with the use of a semistructured interview. Specifically the interview examined the participants
understanding of their referral; their attendance at groups; the level of satisfaction
with staff; future coping; and overall satisfaction with the day hospital.
Standardised measures of depression, stress, locus of control and life events were
Overall participants were satisfied and the social element of the day hospital was
the most important reason to attend. However, satisfaction was not independent
from measures of psychological 'well-being'. The measure of depression was able
to predict approval with the level of social support within the day hospital.
However, the measure of stress could not. Gender differences were noted in the
amount of actual emotional support perceived within the day hospital.
There are several implications in this study for the cost effectiveness of day
hospitals. For example, if social elements are the most important factor then other
services could meet this need. Also, the prolonged attendance of some participants
means that only a small number of patients will have access to this service. This
study is cross sectional and it did not meet power. Therefore conclusions drawn
need to be interpreted with caution.