ABSTRACT: To assess the feasibility of a brief comprehensive case-finding program for detecting functional, cognitive, and social impairments among elderly ED patients and to estimate the prevalence of unknown, undetected, or untreated impairments elderly patients may have.
A multicenter prospective study conducted at five private and public hospital EDs in five different communities across the country. Patients aged 60 years and older released to their homes during 52 randomly selected evening and weekend shifts between February 1 and April 30, 1993, were eligible for the case-finding program. They were evaluated by medical students who received special training (instructional videotape, supervised examinations, and conference calls) in the administration of a standardized 17-item protocol that included an interview and simple tests of function. The patients' physicians were notified of the screening results and were asked to return a one-month follow-up questionnaire. The physicians answered whether the presumed problem had been confirmed and whether a treatment plan for a new problem had been developed.
Patient acceptance of the case-finding program was good; 252 of 338 eligible patients (75%) agreed to participate, and 281 conditions were detected for 242 screened patients (96%). The most frequently reported problems were with: performing the activities of daily living (79%); vision (55%); lack of influenza vaccination (54%); home environment (49%); mental status (46%); general health (41%); falls (40%); and depression (36%). The physicians returned questionnaires for 153 patients (63%); 76 patients (50%) were evaluated at follow-up visits, during which 47 newly identified problems (62%) were confirmed and treatment plans were developed for 25 problems (53%) among 21 patients. A mean time of 17.7 +/- 10.2 minutes was required to complete the screen.
A brief comprehensive case-finding program for functional, cognitive, and social impairment among elderly ED patients is feasible. The screening uncovered a significant amount of morbidity among older patients visiting EDs.
Academic Emergency Medicine 09/1995; 2(8):729-34. · 1.86 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The health care needs of the elderly population are significantly different from those of younger patients and require special knowledge and skills on the part of emergency physicians. The purpose of this study was to identify the nature and extent of geriatric training currently provided to emergency medicine residents.
Self-administered survey distributed to residency directors of the 85 accredited emergency medicine residency programs in the United States.
The survey consisted of 17 questions focusing on residency directors' views about teaching and research of geriatric emergency care.
Survey information was obtained from 85 (100%) emergency medicine residency programs. Forty percent (34 of 85) of respondents believed the teaching of geriatric emergency care was inadequate; 44 programs (52%) plan to increase the number of didactic hours devoted to geriatrics (mean increase of 5.9 hours). The five geriatric topics most frequently taught included acute dementia, atypical presentation of illness, common complaints in the elderly, geriatric trauma, and ethical issues. Sixty-five percent believed ongoing national research efforts regarding geriatric emergency medicine were insufficient; 21 programs (25%) had faculty involved in geriatric studies. Most respondents reported that growing numbers of elderly will have a major impact on all areas of patient care in the near future.
Although geriatric emergency care is becoming an integral part of the emergency medicine residency program, there may be a need for better focused and more intensive training.
Annals of Emergency Medicine 08/1992; 21(7):825-9. · 4.13 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Objectives: To describe emergency department use by the elderly, to define problems associated with emergency care of the elderly, and to compare these results with those for younger adult patients.
Retrospective, controlled chart review.
Six geographically distinct US hospital EDs.
From each site, a stratified sample (approximately 7:3) of elderly (65 years or older) and nonelderly (21 to 64 years old) control patients treated during the same time period was used.
Standardized review of ED records and billing charges. Comparisons of elderly and control patient groups using chi 2 analysis and Mann-Whitney U test (alpha = 0.05).
Four hundred eighteen elderly patients and 175 nonelderly controls were entered into the study. The elderly were more likely to arrive by ambulance (35% versus 11%; P less than .00001). More elderly than controls presented with conditions of either high or intermediate urgency (78% versus 61%; P less than .0003). The elderly more frequently presented with comorbid diseases (94% versus 63%; P less than .00001). Other findings for the elderly included a longer mean stay in the ED (185 versus 155 minutes; P less than .003), higher laboratory (78% versus 53%; P less than .00001) and radiology (77% versus 52%; P less than .00001) test rates, higher mean overall care charges ($471 versus $344; P less than .00001), and an admission rate (47% versus 19%; P less than .00001) twice that of younger adults.
Resource use and charges associated with emergency care are higher for the elderly than for younger patients. Increases in emergency resources and personnel or improvement in efficiency will be needed to maintain emergency care at present levels as the US population continues to grow and age.
Annals of Emergency Medicine 08/1992; 21(7):802-7. · 4.13 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To compare group perceptions of reasons for emergency department care, ED use patterns, and the effect of illness on self-care ability for elderly and younger adult patients.
Six geographically distinct US hospital EDs.
From each site, a stratified sample (approximately 7:3) of elderly (65 years and older) and nonelderly (21 to 64 years old) control ED patients treated during the same time period was contacted.
Three hundred ninety-nine elderly patients and 172 adult controls were interviewed using a structured survey instrument. Groups were compared using chi 2 analysis and the Mann-Whitney U test.
Both the elderly and the control patients (49% versus 38%) commonly stated that the most important reason for coming to the ED was because they were "too sick to wait for an office visit." Of patients with a regular physician, both groups often were referred to the ED by their primary care provider (35% versus 26%). While the elderly had more visits to their primary care provider (3.3 versus 2.9 visits; P less than .00001), there was no difference in the number of ED visits (1.5 versus 1.6 visits) during the preceding six months. Of those released from the ED, more elderly noted deterioration in their ability to care for themselves as a result of their illness (21% versus 11%; P less than .03).
The elderly use the ED for reasons similar to those for younger adults. Often they feel too ill to wait for an office visit or are referred in by their primary care provider. Elderly patients more commonly have difficulty with self care after release home, and emergency physicians must plan accordingly.
Annals of Emergency Medicine 08/1992; 21(7):808-13. · 4.13 Impact Factor