Profile of elderly admitted to a physical therapy center as a function of seasonality
*** Profile of elderly admitted to a physical therapy center as a function of seasonality ***
AIMS: To analyze the profile and the prevalence of diseases in elderly patients admitted to a physical therapy center in a medium-sized Brazilian city located in a subtropical zone in two different seasons of the year.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study assessed the medical records of patients treated during summer and winter months in 2011. Medical records of male and female elderly patients (aged over 60 years) were included, and those without information on present medical diagnosis were excluded. Age and sex and both current and previous diagnostic records were analyzed. The chi-square test was used for the comparative analysis of the profile of the elderly patients for both seasons.
RESULTS: Seventy-one medical records were analyzed. The mean age was 69.2±8.1 years and 48 (70.4%) patients were female. There was a higher prevalence of trauma-orthopedic diseases (60.6%). The greatest number of admissions was in winter (62.0%). At the time of referral, there were 17 cases (63.0%) of trauma-orthopaedic diseases in summer and 26 (59.1%) in winter; 3 cases (11.1%) of rheumatologic diseases in summer and 10 (22.7%) in winter; 5 cases (18.5%) of neurologic disorders in summer and 4 (9.1%) in winter; and 2 cases (7.4%) of postoperative complications in summer and 4 (9.1%) in winter (p=0.64).
CONCLUSIONS: There was a greater demand for referrals of elderly patients to the physical therapy center in winter than in summer, with a predominance of female patients in both seasons. The most prevalent causes of referral were related to trauma-orthopaedic diseases, but there was no significant difference in the frequency of diagnoses according to season. Knowledge about the profile of the elderly admitted to physical therapy centers is important for targeting actions at this age group, conducting information, prevention, and health promotion campaigns.
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