Socioeconomic and health characteristics of older adults cared for by a multiprofessional family health team

Abstract Introduction: Population aging may give rise to a greater burden of diseases and disabilities, leading to the greater use of health services and the need for studies of the aged population. Health care teams and specialized residency programs constitute a strategy for the monitoring of older adults’ health status. Objective: To investigate the socioeconomic profile and health status of older adults in different age groups cared for by a multiprofessional family health team. Methods: This cross-sectional, quantitative study was conducted with 249 older adults registered in a Family Health Strategy (FHS) program in Uberaba, MG, Brazil. Socioeconomic and health status data were collected through home interviews using a structured questionnaire. Chi-square analysis was used for descriptive and bivariate analyses (p < 0.05). Results: Most older adults aged 60-70 years were functionally independent, married and had a mean monthly income of 1-3 times the Brazilian minimum wage. Older adults aged 70 - 79 years made use of 1 - 3 medications and had morbidities such as depression, cataract and glaucoma. There was a greater proportion of illiterates in the age group 80 years or over. Conclusion: Socioecnomic and health status were associated with age groups. Of note, there was a higher prevalence of medication use and morbidities among older adults aged 70 -79 years. The knowledge of these characteristics helps FHS team members to implement more accurate and customized strategies and interventions to deliver more effective and efficient care to older adults. Moreover, participation in a multiprofessional team provides an interdisciplinary learning and work experience for health professionals.