Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Hospital Administration, PGIMER, Chandigarh

2 Department of Community Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

3 Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India


INTRODUCTION: Financial support system available to geriatric populations affects their adherence
level to the prescribed treatment leading to a rise in chronic disease burden.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to ascertain the disease pattern, health expenditure, and
adherence to the prescriptions among geriatric patients reporting to a hospital in North India.
METHODOLOGY: This descriptive, cross‑sectional study was conducted from July 2017 to June
2018. Patients who were 60 or above years in age, already diagnosed and were on treatment for
more than 3 months were included in the study. A total of 310 patients were selected using convenient
sampling method. Data were collected by a pretested and validated questionnaire.
RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 66.16 years ± 5.37 years (54.8% males). Monthly
average family income was Rs. 15202.97 ± 1134.63. Overall, 25% of the treatment cost was met
through various social schemes (52% = pension scheme, 32% of patients had no such schemes
and only 2% through health insurance schemes). Rest was out‑of‑pocket expenditure. Common
diseases were hypertension (60.64%), diabetes mellitus (35.8%), cancer (28.38%), and coronary
artery disease (22.58%). More than half (52.9%) of the patients had two or more illnesses; about
35.8% of them were taking treatment for 1–5 years. Moderate adherence was observed among the
majority of the patients. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) difference in treatment adherence to the
prescriptions was observed.
CONCLUSION: Geriatric patients had many chronic morbidities. They had high out‑of‑pocket
expenditure and suboptimal financial support affecting their level of adherence to the prescriptions.


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