A randomized trial of office-based screening for common problems in older persons
ABSTRACT To test the effectiveness of a 10-minute office-staff administered screen to evaluate malnutrition/weight loss, visual impairment, hearing loss, cognitive impairment, urinary incontinence, depression, physical limitations, and reduced leg mobility among older persons seen in office practice. This screen was coupled with clinical summaries to assist the physician in further evaluating and managing the screen-included problems.
Twenty-six community-based office practices of internists and family physicians in Los Angeles were randomized to intervention or control groups. Two hundred and sixty-one patients aged > or = 70 years and seeing these physicians for a new visit or a physical examination participated in the study. At the enrollment visit intervention group patients were administered the screening measure and their physicians were given the pertinent clinical summaries. Outcome measures were detection of, and intervention for conditions screened, and health status 6 months after the intervention.
Hearing loss was both more commonly detected (40% intervention versus 28% control) and further evaluated (29% versus 16%) by physicians in the intervention group (P < 0.05). No other differences in the frequency of problem detection or intervention were noted between groups. Six months after the intervention no differences were noted in health status between groups.
A brief measure to screen for common conditions in older persons was associated with more frequent detection and follow-up assessment of hearing loss. Although the measure was well accepted by physicians and their staffs, it did not appear to affect detection and intervention in regard to the other screen-included conditions, or health status at 6 months.
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ABSTRACT: We sought to examine the use of preventive health services among older women and to assess how age and illness burden influence care patterns. The charts of 299 women aged > or =80 and 229 women aged 65-79 years who did not have dementia or terminal illness at 1 academic primary care practice in Boston were reviewed between July and December 2005 to determine receipt of screening tests (e.g., mammography), counseling on healthy lifestyle (e.g., exercise), and/or geriatric health issues (e.g., incontinence), and immunizations. Illness burden was quantified using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). Women aged > or =80 were more likely than women aged 65-79 to have a CCI of > or =3 (24.0% vs. 16.7%) and were less likely to receive all screening tests. However, receipt of mammography (47.8%) and colon cancer screening (51.2%) was still common among women aged > or =80 and was not targeted to older women in good health. Women aged > or =80 were less likely to be screened for depression (adjusted relative risk [aRR] 0.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.5-0.8), osteoporosis (aRR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.9), or counseled about exercise (aRR 0.8; 95% CI, 0.6-0.9) than younger women, but were more likely to receive counseling about falls (aRR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.4-2.6) and/or incontinence (aRR 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2-2.6). However notes documenting discussions about mood (28.6%), exercise (40.0%), falls (28.8%), or incontinence (20.8%) were low among all women. In a comprehensive review of preventive health measures for elderly women, many in poor health were screened for cancer. Meanwhile, many older women were not screened for depression or counseled about exercise, falls, or incontinence. There is a need to improve delivery of preventive health care to older women.Women s Health Issues 07/2008; 18(4):249-56. DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2007.12.004 · 1.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Our purpose was to determine the extent to which a predetermined set of modifiable impairments predicted progression of disability. We conducted a 3-year follow-up of two community-based cohorts of older adults. The impairment areas included lower extremity, upper extremity, hearing, vision, and affect. Home management and social or productive activities were the domains of function investigated. All five impairments were of at least borderline significance in predicting decline in both functional domains in both cohorts with the exception of hearing for home management activities. The five impairments together explained from 17% to 23% of the decline seen in the functional outcomes (partial R(2)s 0.17 to 0.23). Five prevalent and potentially modifiable impairments explained much of the progressive disability experienced. Given the priority that older patients place on function as a health outcome, these impairments should be routinely assessed and modified.Journal of Aging and Health 05/2005; 17(2):239-56. DOI:10.1177/0898264305275176 · 1.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Given the prevalence of under-nutrition and reports of inadequate nutritional management of patients in hospitals and the community, nutritional screening may play a role in reducing the risks of malnutrition. Screening programmes can invoke costs to health systems and patients. It is therefore important to assess the effectiveness of nutritional screening programmes. OBJECTIVES: To examine the effectiveness of nutritional screening in improving quality of care (professional practice) and patient outcomes compared with usual care. SEARCH METHODS: The search strategy had two main components: a 'nutrition' component and a 'screening' component. To increase the sensitivity of the search, no study design filter was used. We searched databases including The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL up to June 2012 to find relevant studies. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled studies, controlled clinical trials, controlled before-after studies and interrupted time series studies assessing the effectiveness of nutritional screening were eligible for inclusion in the review. We considered process outcomes (for example patient identification, referral to dietitian) and patient outcomes (for example mortality, change in body mass index (BMI)). Participants were adult patients aged 16 years or over. We included studies conducted in different settings, including hospitals, out-patient clinics, primary care or long term care settings. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We independently assessed the risk of bias and extracted data from the included studies. Meta-analysis was considered but was not conducted due to the discrepancies between the studies. The studies were heterogeneous in their design, setting, intervention and outcomes. We analysed the data using a narrative synthesis approach. MAIN RESULTS: After conducting initial searches and screening the titles and abstracts of the identified literature, 77 full text papers were retrieved and read. Ultimately three studies were included. Two controlled before-after studies were conducted in hospital settings (one in the UK and one in the Netherlands) and one cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted in a primary care setting (in the USA).The study conducted in primary care reported that physicians were receptive to the screening intervention, but the intervention did not result in any improvements in the malnutrition detection rate or nutritional intervention rate. The two studies conducted in hospitals had important methodological limitations. One study reported that as a result of the intervention, the recording of patients' weight increased in the intervention wards. No significant changes were observed in the referral rates to dietitians or care at meal time. The third study reported weight gains and a reduction in hospital acquired infection rate in the intervention hospital. They found no significant differences in length of stay, pressure sores, malnutrition and treatment costs per patient between the two hospitals. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence is insufficient to support the effectiveness of nutritional screening, although equally there is no evidence of no effect. Therefore, more high quality studies should be conducted to assess the effectiveness of nutritional screening in different settings.Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 06/2013; 6(6):CD005539. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD005539.pub2 · 5.94 Impact Factor