Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Older people, Geriatric nursing, Public health nursing



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 93 leaves)


The EPP Project was a descriptive and inferential study designed to determine the psychosocial and medical needs of elderly post-hospital dischargees. The areas of need assessed were (1) living arrangements, (2) use of leisure time, (3) vocational adjustment, (4) financial functioning and (5) adjustment to illness. The instrument adopted for the purpose of this study was an adaptation of a scheduled in the New York Study. The New York Study, described in The Elderly Ambulatory Patient: Nursing and Psychosocial Needs by Doris Schwartz, Barbara Henley and Leonard Zeitz was a long-range study of the needs of elderly clinic patients. The schedule utilized both open-end and structured responses. Interviews were conducted in the homes of respondents. A sample of 63 patients was drawn and found from a population of elderly dischargees of the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Portland, Oregon. The study group was composed of 20 patients adjudged by their physicians as having a high probability of need for post-hospital skilled nursing care. The control group included 43 patients systematically selected from a sample of the general hospital populace of elderly patients discharged during the same period of time as the study group and not considered to be in need of special nursing services. Findings yielded evidence to support the hypothesis that patients adjudged by the doctors as having more medical needs also had more social needs. A second hypothesis stating that medical and social needs of the study group were the same as medical and social needs of the control group was rejected. Those in the study group evidenced greater medical and related social needs. The third hypothesis sought to test the reliability of the Greenlick prediction formula, an instrument used in a previous Kaiser Hospital study to estimate the need for skilled nursing service in a population following hospital discharge. Findings indicated that the Greenlick prediction formula was effective in ascertaining need for immediate post-hospital care and was effective, with greater variance, in predicting needs over time. The final hypothesis asserted that the needs of the patients in the EPP Project were the same as those determined in the New York Study. This hypothesis was rejected when analysis of data yielded evidence that the patients in the EPP Project functioned at a higher level in all areas considered than did the patients in the New York Study. Unexpectedly, the findings disproved the stereotype emphasized in social work literature characterizing the elderly as being needy and in distress both socially and medically. On the contrary, findings indicated that such unqualified generalizations about elderly patients as a homogeneous group cannot appropriately be made. Collection and analysis of the data pointed to the need for social work services in the area of budgeting for medical expenses and utilization of appropriate community resources. A further indication was the need for volunteers to provide services such as transportation to enhance participation in social and recreational activities. The use of volunteers would also facilitate grocery shopping and obtaining medical attention. Implications for further research suggested the need for additional empirical studies of elderly post-hospital patients in a variety of settings.


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Portland State College. School of Social Work

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