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There is currently great interest in the care of the elderly in general practice and discussion about the role of surveillance programmes. We report a comparison between two surveys of an elderly population carried out with a view to determining the difference in findings between two surveys of the same population.
Each patient had an average of 4·8 problems at the time of the second assessment. The number of active and unknown problems fell from 6·4 per patient at the initial assessment.
The greatest improvements were found in such topics as clothing, bedding, heating, dentition, diet, vision, and hearing, and the least in such aspects as dependency, home hazards, and problems with a caring relative.
We remain convinced that a continuing programme of geriatric assessment is valuable in general practice.