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In the fast pace of the Emergency Department (ED), clinicians are in need of tailored screening tools to detect seniors who are at risk of adverse outcomes. We aimed to explore the usefulness of the Bergman-Paris Question (BPQ) to expose potential undetected geriatric syndromes in community-living seniors presenting to the ED.
This is a planned sub-study of the INDEED multicentre prospective cohort study, including independent or semi-independent seniors (≥65 years old) admitted to hospital after an ED stay ≥8 hours and who were not delirious. Patients were assessed using validated screening tests for 3 geriatric syndromes: cognitive and functional impairment, and frailty. The BPQ was asked upon availability of a relative at enrolment. BPQ’s sensitivity and specificity analyses were used to ascertain outcomes.
A response to the BPQ was available for 171 patients (47% of the main study’s cohort). Of this number, 75.4% were positive (suggesting impairment), and 24.6% were negative. To detect one of the three geriatric syndromes, the BPQ had a sensitivity of 85.4% (95% CI [76.3, 92.0]) and a specificity of 35.4% (95% CI [25.1, 46.7]). Similar results were obtained for each separate outcome. Odds ratio demonstrated a higher risk of presence of geriatric syndromes.
The Bergman-Paris Question could be an ED screening tool for possible geriatric syndrome. A positive BPQ should prompt the need of further investigations and a negative BPQ possibly warrants no further action. More research is needed to validate the usefulness of the BPQ for day-to-day geriatric screening by ED professionals or geriatricians.
We wished to determine the impact of emergency department (ED) mobility assessments for older patients on hospitalization, return visits, future falls, and frailty.
We searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, PEDro, and OTseeker (September 2016). Two independent reviewers identified studies of patients ≥65 years with ED physical mobility assessments and outcomes of hospitalization, return to ED, falls, and frailty. Language was not restricted. Only clinical trials and observational studies were included.
We identified 1,365 unique citations. Nine studies (six cohort and three cross-sectional) met full inclusion criteria. Patients (n=2,513) with mean age 75-85 years, admitted to hospital and discharged, underwent these ED evaluations: Timed Up and Go (TUG), Get Up and Go, tandem walk, and a gait assessment. Study quality was moderate to poor. Tandem walk did not predict falls at 90 days. TUG was not associated with return to the ED/hospitalization at 90 days. Get Up and Go was associated with hospital admission but not return to ED visits at 1 or 3 months. Due to clinical heterogeneity in study populations and outcomes, a meta-analysis was not undertaken.
Despite multiple guidelines recommending a mobility assessment prior to ED discharge for older patients, we found that such assessments were neither associated with nor predictive of adverse outcomes. Robust research is required to guide clinicians on the utility of physical mobility assessments in older ED patients.
The consequences of minor trauma involving a head injury (MT-HI) in independent older adults are largely unknown. This study assessed the impact of a head injury on the functional outcomes six months post-injury in older adults who sustained a minor trauma.
This multicenter prospective cohort study in eight sites included patients who were aged 65 years or older, previously independent, presenting to the emergency department (ED) for a minor trauma, and discharged within 48 hours. To assess the functional decline, we used a validated test: the Older Americans’ Resources and Services Scale. The cognitive function of study patients was also evaluated. Finally, we explored the influence of a concomitant injury on the functional decline in the MT-HI group.
All 926 eligible patients were included in the analyses: 344 MT-HI patients and 582 minor trauma without head injury. After six months, the functional decline was similar in both groups: 10.8% and 11.9%, respectively (RR=0.79 [95% CI: 0.55–1.14]). The proportion of patients with mild cognitive disabilities was also similar: 21.7% and 22.8%, respectively (RR=0.91 [95% CI: 0.71–1.18]). Furthermore, for the group of patients with a MT-HI, the functional outcome was not statistically different with or without the presence of a co-injury (RR=1.35 [95% CI: 0.71–2.59]).
This study did not demonstrate that the occurrence of a MT-HI is associated with a worse functional or cognitive prognosis than other minor injuries without a head injury in an elderly population, six months after injury.
The objective of this study was to explore correlates of cognitive functioning of older adults visiting the emergency department (ED) after a minor injury.
These results are derived from a large prospective study in three Canadian EDs. Participants were aged ≥ 65 years and independent in basic activities of daily living, visiting the ED for minor injuries and discharged home within 48 hours (those with known dementia, confusion, and delirium were excluded). They completed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Potential correlates included sociodemographic and injury variables, and measures of psychological and physical health, social support, mobility, falls, and functional status.
Multivariate analyses revealed that male sex, age ≥ 85 years, higher depression scores, slower walking speed, and self-reported memory problems were significantly associated with lower baseline MoCA scores.
These characteristics could help ED professionals identify patients who might need additional cognitive evaluations or follow-ups after their passage through the ED. Obtaining information on these characteristics is potentially feasible in the ED context and could help professionals alter favorably elderly's trajectory of care. Since a significant proportion of elderly patients consulting at an ED have cognitive impairment, the ED is an opportunity to prevent functional and cognitive decline.
There are a number of screening tools to predict return to the emergency department (ED) in elderly trauma patients, but none exist to specifically screen for functional decline after a minor injury. The objective of this study was to identify outcome measures for a possible future clinical decision rule to be used in the ED to identify previously independent patients at high risk of functional decline at six months post minor injury.
After a rigorous development process, a survey instrument was administered to a random sample of 178 emergency physicians using the Dillman’s Tailored Design Method.
Of 156 eligible surveys, we received 81 completed surveys (response rate 51.9%). Considering all 14 activities of daily living (ADL) items, 90% of physicians deemed a minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in function to be at least three points on the 28-point Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) ADL Scale as clinically significant. A tool with a sensitivity of 93% to detect patients at risk of functional decline at six months post injury would meet or exceed the sensitivity deemed to be required by 90% of physicians. The majority of emergency physicians do not assess elderly injured patients for the majority of the tasks.
A drop of three points on the 28-point OARS ADL Scale would be deemed clinically important by the vast majority of emergency physicians. Further, a sensitivity of 93% for a clinical decision tool would satisfy the MCID requirements of the vast majority of emergency physicians. There appears to be a gap between physician knowledge and actual practice. We intend to use these findings in the development of a clinical decision rule to identify high-risk elderly trauma patients.
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