A Prospective Cohort Study of Geriatric Syndromes Among Older Medical Patients Admitted to Acute Care Hospitals

The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.57). 10/2011; 59(11):2001-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03663.x
Source: PubMed


To identify the prevalence of geriatric syndromes in the premorbid for all syndromes except falls (preadmission), admission, and discharge assessment periods and the incidence of new and significant worsening of existing syndromes at admission and discharge.
Prospective cohort study.
Three acute care hospitals in Brisbane, Australia.
Five hundred seventy-seven general medical patients aged 70 and older admitted to the hospital.
Prevalence of syndromes in the premorbid (or preadmission for falls), admission, and discharge periods; incidence of new syndromes at admission and discharge; and significant worsening of existing syndromes at admission and discharge.
The most frequently reported premorbid syndromes were bladder incontinence (44%), impairment in any activity of daily living (ADL) (42%). A high proportion (42%) experienced at least one fall in the 90 days before admission. Two-thirds of the participants experienced between one and five syndromes (cognitive impairment, dependence in any ADL item, bladder and bowel incontinence, pressure ulcer) before, at admission, and at discharge. A majority experienced one or two syndromes during the premorbid (49.4%), admission (57.0%), or discharge (49.0%) assessment period. The syndromes with a higher incidence of significant worsening at discharge (out of the proportion with the syndrome present premorbidly) were ADL limitation (33%), cognitive impairment (9%), and bladder incontinence (8%). Of the syndromes examined at discharge, a higher proportion of patients experienced the following new syndromes at discharge (absent premorbidly): ADL limitation (22%); and bladder incontinence (13%).
Geriatric syndromes were highly prevalent. Many patients did not return to their premorbid function and acquired new syndromes.

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    • "Nevertheless, attention should be paid to the evolving gap between both age groups with respect to length of ED stay over time. This trend may reflect an emerging mismatch between the services offered by ED units and the complex needs of geriatric patients [16,22,23]. Furthermore, ED structures may be deleterious for these patients when, for instance, limited access to natural light promotes delirium in cognitively impaired patients and a cluttered environment may represent a fall hazard [24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aging of the population in all western countries will challenge Emergency Departments (ED) as old patients visit these health services more frequently and present with special needs. The aim of this study is to describe the trend in ED visits by patients aged 85 years and over between 2005 and 2010, and to compare their service use to that of patients aged 65--84 years during this period and to investigate the evolution of these comparisons over time. Data considered were all ED visits to the University of Lausanne Medical Center (CHUV), a tertiary Swiss teaching hospital, between 2005 and 2010 by patients aged 65 years and over (65+ years). ED visit characteristics were described according to age group and year. Incidence rates of ED visits and length of ED stay were calculated. Between 2005 and 2010, ED visits by patients aged 65 years and over increased by 26% overall, and by 46% among those aged 85 years and over (85+ years). Estimated ED visit incidence rate for persons aged 85+ years old was twice as high as for persons aged 65--84 years. Compared to patients aged 65--84 years, those aged 85+ years were more likely to be hospitalized and have a longer ED stay. This latter difference increased over time between 2005 and 2010. Oldest-old patients are increasingly using ED services. These services need to adapt their care delivery processes to meet the needs of a rising number of these complex, multimorbid and vulnerable patients.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · BMC Health Services Research
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    • "It is well known that older people are functionally worse and have poor quality of life following extended admissions to hospital [3,20,21]. However, it has not been known how much recovery has been possible. "
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    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
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    • "Ultimately, improved resources and coordination are needed in acute hospitals to address the pattern of increasing dependence that then leads to decreasing discharge potential. Evidence suggests that older adults admitted to acute medical units deteriorate as well as acquire new geriatric syndromes [55]. Elder friendly ALC units have been described in the literature [21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Acute hospital discharge delays are a pressing concern for many health care administrators. In Canada, a delayed discharge is defined by the alternate level of care (ALC) construct and has been the target of many provincial health care strategies. Little is known on the patient characteristics that influence acute ALC length of stay. This study examines which characteristics drive acute ALC length of stay for those awaiting nursing home admission. Population-level administrative and assessment data were used to examine 17,111 acute hospital admissions designated as alternate level of care (ALC) from a large Canadian health region. Case level hospital records were linked to home care administrative and assessment records to identify and characterize those ALC patients that account for the greatest proportion of acute hospital ALC days. ALC patients waiting for nursing home admission accounted for 41.5% of acute hospital ALC bed days while only accounting for 8.8% of acute hospital ALC patients. Characteristics that were significantly associated with greater ALC lengths of stay were morbid obesity (27 day mean deviation, 99% CI = ±14.6), psychiatric diagnosis (13 day mean deviation, 99% CI = ±6.2), abusive behaviours (12 day mean deviation, 99% CI = ±10.7), and stroke (7 day mean deviation, 99% CI = ±5.0). Overall, persons with morbid obesity, a psychiatric diagnosis, abusive behaviours, or stroke accounted for 4.3% of all ALC patients and 23% of all acute hospital ALC days between April 1st 2009 and April 1st, 2011. ALC patients with the identified characteristics had unique clinical profiles. A small number of patients with non-medical days waiting for nursing home admission contribute to a substantial proportion of total non-medical days in acute hospitals. Increases in nursing home capacity or changes to existing funding arrangements should target the sub-populations identified in this investigation to maximize effectiveness. Specifically, incentives should be introduced to encourage nursing homes to accept acute patients with the least prospect for community-based living, while acute patients with the greatest prospect for community-based living are discharged to transitional care or directly to community-based care.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · BMC Health Services Research
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