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Trial Results Show That 'Health Risk Assessment' Benefits Non-Disabled Elderly People

(PLOS) Implementation of a collaborative care model among community-dwelling older people using a health risk assessment instrument resulted in better health behaviors and increased use of preventative care, according to a study… The trial, conducted by Andreas Stuck from the University Hospital Bern and University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues, demonstrated improved 8-year survival among recipients of the intervention…
Certain aspects of the trial design may limit the interpretation of these findings. Some participants may have given socially desirable answers on questionnaires, the study was undertaken at a single site, and long-term follow-up information was limited to survival. Overall, however, these findings suggest that the use of regionally adapted approaches for health risk assessment combined with individual counseling might be an effective and relatively low-cost way to improve health and survival among non-disabled older people. The authors state, "Our study may also serve as a model for low- and middle-income countries, given the importance of the demographic challenge of rapidly growing populations of older individuals in these countries."
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