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Biography

Christa Them has obtained her nursing degree in Vienna in 1982. She attended the diploma studies of pedagogics in Vienna as well as the doctoral studies of pedagogics. In 2003, she was promoted to professor in health sciences under special consideration of nursing science at UMIT in Hall in Tirol. In 2006, she was appointed university professor at UMIT. She has been Rector of UMIT, the Private University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology since 2009, and has been head of the Institute of Nursing Science at UMIT in Hall in Tirol (Austria) since 2006. She has published more than 30 papers in reputed journals with the focus on Nursing pedagogics, Educational policy, Qualitative nursing research and Care of people suffering from age-related diseases.

Abstract

Background: Within the framework of counselling sessions provided to people aged 70(+) living in the Austrian province of Tirol, the functional health status was measured by registered nurses. Vital in this context seems the utilisation of household help and/or care by family members and/or external institutions as they represent a great challenge as to the needs assessment, acceptance and exhaustion of family members. The aim is to identify groups of people aged 70+ (incl. their personal background) who live at home and do or do not use household help and/or care provided by external institutions or on an informal basis. Method: Based on the WHO ICF-Classification, the functional health status of 345 70+ aged people living at home was assessed. Health indicators for the utilisation of household help and/or care by family members and/or external institutions were identified. To identify groups and their characteristics Decision Tree Analysis was used. The CRT method maximises leaf homogeneity. The result was approved by a tenfold cross validation. The results illustrate that family members support the 70+ year-olds mainly in housekeeping (70%) and care (54%). Household help and care by external providers were used to a smaller extent (41% vs. 29%). The presentation deals with the identification of groups of people and their characteristics who do or do not use household help and/or care. A special focus is on those people who do not use household help and/or care since specific counselling is of utmost importance in the case of identified problems and resources. Key words: elderly people, functional health status, nursing assessment, household help and care, external institutions, family members