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- Medicare Plan D: Impact on Medication Compliance in the Elderly
- This dissertation examined the impact of Medicare Plan D on medication compliance in Medicare beneficiaries at University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, TX. Data were collected before and after the implementation of Plan D. The impacts of various types of benefits, such as private insurance, employer insurance and pharmacy assistance programs were evaluated in terms of impact on drug compliance. Medication compliance was found to increase in those respondents without Plan D. Plan D was found to be a predictor of those who spent less on basics in order to buy medications. Although compliance increased in general, these increases could not be attributed to the acquisition of a Plan D policy.
- Pets and the level of loneliness in community dwelling older adults.
- Loneliness is a significant problem for older adults and can lead to negative health and social outcomes. Having a companion pet is beginning to be recognized as a way loneliness can be reduced for older persons. The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the effect of pets on the level of loneliness in persons 60 years old or older who live alone and independently in a large metropolitan community in the North Central Texas area. Using a non-random snowball sample of older individuals (N = 252), who met the study criteria, each subject was administered the researcher-developed demographic data survey instrument containing the following variables: (a) pets - having a pet/wanting a pet, (b) age, (c) gender, (d) marital status, (e) living alone, (f) losses within the last six months, (g) interactions with family members, (h) interactions with others outside of the family, (i) highest educational level achieved, (j) employment or volunteer involvement in the community, (k) religious participation, and (l) self perceived health status. The UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3 was used to obtain the loneliness scores. Prediction of loneliness and relationship with the independent variables was tested using frequency, correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multivariate analysis using ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression analysis. The findings from this study showed that those older adults living alone who did not have a pet but would like to have a companion pet had higher levels of loneliness (p<0.05). Other findings suggested that older adults' loneliness was less if they had moderate religious participation and interactions with others (p< 0.05). Future studies are needed to examine the effects that pets have on feelings of loneliness and the ability of older individuals to cope effectively with those feelings.
- Sex and Older Americans: Exploring the Relationship Between Frequency of Sexual Activity and Happiness
- The purpose of this study is two-fold: (1) to examine the correlation between frequency of sexual activity and general happiness among older Americans and (2) to examine the correlation between frequency of sexual activity and marital happiness among older married Americans. This study employed quantitative data drawn from the 2004-2008 General Social Surveys. Two samples were used. The first sample included all respondents 65 years of age and older with valid responses for the dependent, independent, and control variables. The second sample was a subset of the first and included only the married respondents. Both bivariate cross-tabulations and binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. As expected, the data support a positive association between sexual activity and general happiness in both the total elder sample and the married elder sample (p < 0.05). Also, as expected, the data support a positive association between frequency of sexual activity and marital happiness in the married elder sample (p < 0.05). Even with the introduction of control variables, frequency of sexual activity was found to be a significant predictor of both general and marital happiness (p < 0.05). This study suggests that sexual activity does indeed contribute the happiness and well-being of older Americans.
- Investigating the Effects of Polypharmacy Among Elderly Patients with Diabetes on Glycemic Control and Clinical Outcomes in Home Health Care
- The focus of this research study is glycemic control in the presence of multiple morbidities and polypharmacy in homebound individuals with Type 2 diabetes aged 65 years and older. The research method is a quantitative retrospective cohort study of discharged patients of a nonprofit community-based home health agency from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2011, using OASIS data. Glycemic control is assessed using the hA1C laboratory test following the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association. The study documents a moderate significant association between glycemic control, polypharmacy and comorbid conditions, indicating that homebound individuals with Type 2 diabetes aged 65 years and older are less likely to have optimal glycemic control in the presence of multiple morbidities and polypharmacy. There continues to be a need for scientific research in this population cohort; and the dose-response association between antidiabetic therapy interventions designed to lower blood glucose levels in the presence of chronic disease and polypharmacy.