Aim: To delineate relationships among cognitive function, frailty and level of care required in the Japanese long-term care insurance program (LTCIP) in outpatient memory clinic patients. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out at an outpatient memory clinic. Participants were 201 cognitively impaired patients. Cognitive function was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Frailty was measured by Timed Up & Go (TUG) and grip strength. Waist circumference, body mass index, living arrangement and level of care required in the LTCIP (rank 1 minor disability to rank 7 severe disability) were also assessed. Results: Mean age, MMSE score, TUG score and grip strength were 78.8±6.9years, 19.6±6.1, 14.6±6.7s and 16.9±7.5kg, respectively. A total of 70 patients (34.8%) had not applied for the certification, at least in part because of their younger age and existence of family caregivers. LTCIP rank was correlated both with MMSE score (β: -0.49, P=0.001), grip strength (β: -0.27, P=0.005) and living alone (β: -0.18, P=0.03), but not with TUG score (β: 0.14, P=0.105). Conclusion: In outpatients of a memory clinic, care ranks, which define the upper limit of monthly benefit in the Japanese LTCIP, were influenced by age, cognitive function, frailty and living arrangements. Understanding the relationship among these parameters would be useful in predicting the needs of cognitively impaired patients and important when comparing the possible services provided by long-term care systems for them worldwide.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Geriatrics and Gerontology