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Frailty is a predominant predictor of poor outcomes in older populations. This article presents a review of the concept of frailty and its role for prognostication among geriatric trauma and surgery patients. We discuss models of frailty defined in the scientific literature, emphasizing that frailty is a process of biologic aging. We emphasize the importance of screening, assessment, and inclusion of frailty indices for the development and use of prognostication instruments/tools in the population of interest. Finally, we discuss best practices for the delivery of prognostic information in acute care settings and specific recommendations for trauma and surgical care settings.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AIMS - To investigate the association between health literacy and cognition and nursing and patient-reported incontinence in a geriatric inpatient population transitioning to skilled nursing facilities (SNF).
METHODS - Health literacy, depression, and cognition were assessed via the Brief Health Literacy Screen (BHLS), Geriatric Depression Scale 5-item (GDS) and Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS), respectively. Multivariable logistic regression assessed the association between BHLS score and incontinence by: (1) nursing-reported urinary incontinence during hospitalization; and (2) patient self-reported "bladder accidents" in the post-enrollment study interview.
RESULTS - A total of 1556 hospitalized patients aged 65 and older met inclusion criteria, of whom 922 (59.3%) were women and 1480 had available BHLS scores. A total of 464 (29.8%) and 515 (33.1%) patients had nursing-reported and self-reported urinary incontinence, respectively. Nursing-reported incontinence was significantly associated with lower BHLS (ie, poorer health literacy) (aOR 0.93, 95%CI 0.89-0.99) and BIMS (ie, poorer cognition) (aOR 0.90, 95%CI 0.83-0.97) scores and need for assistance with toileting (aOR 7.08, 95%CI 2.16-23.21). Patient-reported incontinence was significantly associated with female sex (aOR 1.62, 95%CI 1.19-2.21), increased GDS score (ie, greater likelihood of depression) (aOR 1.22, 95%CI 1.10-1.36) and need for assistance with toileting (aOR 2.46, 95%CI 1.26-4.79).
CONCLUSIONS - Poorer health literacy and cognition are independently associated with an increased likelihood of nursing-reported urinary incontinence among geriatric inpatients transitioning to SNF. Practitioners should consider assessment of health literacy and cognition in frail patients at risk for urinary incontinence and that patient and nursing assessment may be required to capture the diagnosis.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The aging population with its concomitant medical conditions, physical and cognitive impairments, at a time of strained resources, establishes the urgent need to explore advanced technologies that may enhance function and quality of life. Recently, robotic technology, especially socially assistive robotics has been investigated to address the physical, cognitive, and social needs of older adults. Most system to date have predominantly focused on one-on-one human robot interaction (HRI). In this paper, we present a multi-user engagement-based robotic coach system architecture (ROCARE). ROCARE is capable of administering both one-on-one and multi-user HRI, providing implicit and explicit channels of communication, and individualized activity management for long-term engagement. Two preliminary feasibility studies, a one-on-one interaction and a triadic interaction with two humans and a robot, were conducted and the results indicated potential usefulness and acceptance by older adults, with and without cognitive impairment.
BACKGROUND - There are no cross-sectional or longitudinal epidemiological studies present on MRI-defined vascular depression in community populations. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence rates of both vascular and non-vascular late life depression (LLD) at baseline, to examine the natural course of LLD, and to investigate the influence of White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) on depression after three years.
METHOD - The baseline study employed a two-stage design, Phase I population survey (n=783) and Phase II diagnostic evaluation (n=122). In the 3-year follow-up study, baseline participants completing the second phase were reassessed with the same methodology. WMHs severity was rated visually by the modified Fazekas scale and WMHs volume was calculated using an automated method.
RESULTS - The prevalence rates of vascular major depressive disorder (MDD) and vascular non-major depressive disorder (nMDD) were 2.39% (56.2% of MDD) and 4.24% (34.0% of nMDD). Subjects with a score of 2 or more on the modified Fazekas scale in either deep white matter hyperintensities or subcortical gray matter ratings had an 8.1 times greater risk of developing a depressive disorder in the 3-year follow-up study. Greater Log WMHs volume (odds ratio=5.78, 95% CI, 1.04-31.72) at baseline was an independent predictor for depressive disorder in the 3-year assessment.
LIMITATIONS - Response rate and follow-up rate were relatively low.
CONCLUSIONS - Vascular depression is common and makes up about a half of MDD in elders. Greater WMHs severity is a crucial factor predicting future depression risk, which supports the previous vascular depression hypothesis.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Cognitive and functional impairments are leading predictors of poor outcomes in hospitalized older adults. This study reports adoption rates of 9 Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders quality indicators in a sample of US hospitals (N = 128). Chief nursing officers were surveyed using a 6-point scale (no activity to full implementation) for each Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders quality indicator. Adoption rates were low, highlighting the need for greater efforts to heighten awareness among senior executives and nursing leaders.
AIMS - Women are more likely to develop heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) than men. We studied the relationship between sex and cardiovascular structure and function in patients with HFpEF.
METHODS AND RESULTS - The study included 279 participants from the PARAMOUNT study (57% women) with analysable baseline echocardiograms (mean age 71 years, 94% hypertensive, 38% diabetic). We assessed sex-based differences in baseline clinical characteristics and measures of cardiovascular structure/function. Coronary artery disease was less common in women than in men. Women were more obese and symptomatic, and less likely to have albuminuria. Women had higher indexed left ventricular (LV) wall thicknesses, worse diastolic function (lower E', P = 0.002; higher E/E', P < 0.001), while LV mass and LV volumes indexed for height(2.7) were similar. Nonetheless, female sex was associated with a trend towards higher prevalence of abnormal LV geometry (defined as concentric hypertrophy, or eccentric hypertrophy, or concentric remodelling) at baseline (unadjusted P = 0.028, adjusted P = 0.056) and 12 weeks' follow up (unadjusted P = 0.001, adjusted P = 0.006), but not at 36 weeks' follow up (unadjusted P = 0.81, adjusted P = 0.99). Despite higher LV ejection fraction in women, global LV strain was similar between the sexes, while Tissue Doppler Imaging S' mitral velocity was lower in women. Both LV diastolic and systolic stiffness were higher in women than men (P < 0.001), even adjusting for LV concentricity and clinical covariates. We observed no sex differences in systolic arterial-LV coupling, as women also had higher absolute arterial elastance compared with men, although this difference was not significant after adjusting for height(2.7) .
CONCLUSION - More pronounced diastolic dysfunction may contribute to the greater predisposition for HFpEF in women compared with men.
© 2014 The Authors. European Journal of Heart Failure © 2014 European Society of Cardiology.
Altered mental status is a common chief compliant among older patients in the emergency department (ED). Acute changes in mental status are more concerning and are usually secondary to delirium, stupor, and coma. Although stupor and coma are easily identifiable, the clinical presentation of delirium can be subtle and is often missed without actively screening for it. For patients with acute changes in mental status the ED evaluation should focus on searching for the underlying etiology. Infection is one of the most common precipitants of delirium, but multiple causes may exist concurrently.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVES - To document the stability, concurrent validity, and clinical correlates of two fatigability severity measures as recommended by the American Geriatrics Society.
DESIGN - Descriptive, cross-sectional.
SETTING - Two independent living and one community senior centers.
PARTICIPANTS - Forty-three participants, with an average age 85 ± 6.
MEASUREMENTS - Perceived fatigability severity was quantified by directly asking participants to report change in energy after a standardized 10-minute walk at a self-selected pace. Performance fatigability severity was defined as a ratio of change in walking speed to total distance walked. The walk test was repeated within 2 weeks to assess stability. Total daily physical activity (PA) was measured over 7 consecutive days using a waist-worn accelerometer. Frailty was measured using the Vulnerable Elders Survey interview scale, and gait speed was measured using a standardized 25-feet walk test.
RESULTS - The perceived and performance fatigability severity measures were significantly correlated (correlation coefficient (r) = 0.94, P < .001) and stable over two assessments (r = 0.82 and 0.85, P < .001). Both fatigability severity measures were significantly correlated with PA level (r = -0.42 and r = -0.44, respectively, P = .02), frailty (r = 0.47 and 0.53, respectively, P = .001) and gait speed (r = -0.45, P = .003 and r = -0.54, P = .001, respectively).
CONCLUSION - The methodology described in this study permits the calculation of two highly correlated fatigability severity scores, which summarize the relationship between a person's change in self-reported tiredness or change in physical performance and concurrently measured PA. The fatigability severity scores are reproducible and correlated with clinical measures predictive of decline. The methods used to quantify fatigability severity can be implemented during a brief assessment (<15 minutes) and should be useful in the design and evaluation of interventions to increase PA in older adults at risk of functional decline.
© 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society.
OBJECTIVE - The objective of this study is to examine the association between self-reported functional disability in depressed older adults and two types of executive function processes, attentional set shifting and reversal learning.
METHODS - Participants (N = 89) were aged 60 or over and enrolled in a naturalistic treatment study of major depressive disorder. Participants provided information on self-reported function in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and completed the Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift test (IED) from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery, which assesses intra-dimensional attentional shifts, extra-dimensional attentional shifts, and reversal learning. Participants were categorized by the presence or absence of IADL difficulties and compared on IED performance using bivariable and multivariable tests.
RESULTS - Participants who reported IADL difficulties had more errors in extra-dimensional attentional shifting and reversal learning, but intra-dimensional shift errors were not associated with IADLs. Only extra-dimensional shift errors were significant in multivariable models that controlled for age, sex, and depression severity.
CONCLUSIONS - Attentional shifting across categories (i.e., extra-dimensional) was most strongly associated with increased IADL difficulties among depressed older adults, which make interventions to improve flexible problem solving a potential target for reducing instrumental disability in this population.
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
OBJECTIVES - The consequences of delirium in the emergency department (ED) remain unclear. This study sought to determine if delirium in the ED was an independent predictor of prolonged hospital length of stay (LOS).
METHODS - This prospective cohort study was conducted at a tertiary care, academic ED from May 2007 to August 2008. The study included English-speaking patients aged 65 and older who were in the ED for less than 12 hours at enrollment. Patients were excluded if they refused consent, were previously enrolled, were unable to follow simple commands at baseline, were comatose, or did not have a delirium assessment performed by the research staff. The Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) was used to determine delirium status. Patients who were discharged directly from the ED were considered to have a hospital LOS of 0 days. To determine if delirium in the ED was independently associated with time to discharge, Cox proportional hazard regression was performed adjusted for age, comorbidity burden, severity of illness, dementia, functional impairment, nursing home residence, and surgical procedure. A sensitivity analysis, which included admitted patients only, was also performed.
RESULTS - A total of 628 patients met enrollment criteria. The median age was 75 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 69-81), 365 (58%) patients were female, 111 (18%) were nonwhite, 351 (56%) were admitted to the hospital, and 108 (17%) were delirious in the ED. Median LOS was 2 days (IQR = 0-5.5) for delirious ED patients and 1 day (IQR = 0-3) for nondelirious ED patients (p < 0.001). The hazard ratio (HR) of delirium for time to discharge was 0.71 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.57 to 0.89) after adjusting for confounders, and indicated that ED patients with delirium were more likely to have prolonged hospital LOS compared with those without delirium. For the sensitivity analysis, which included only hospitalized patients, the adjusted HR was 0.76 (95% CI = 0.58 to 0.99).
CONCLUSIONS - Delirium in older ED patients has negative consequences and is an independent predictor of prolonged hospitalizations.
© 2011 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.