Preventing emergency department visits and hospitalisations for older adults with cognitive impairment

Added July 28, 2020

Citation: Gagnon-Roy M, Hami B, Généreux M, et al. Preventing emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalisations of older adults with cognitive impairment compared with the general senior population: what do we know about avoidable incidents? Results from a scoping review. BMJ open. 2018 Apr 1;8(4):e019908.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing strain on healthcare services. Existing research on the prevention of unnecessary visits by cognitively impaired older adults to emergency departments (ED) might provide useful information for policy makers.

In this scoping review, the authors searched for studies examining avoidable incidents leading to emergency department visits and hospitalizations by older adults with cognitive impairment, and possible preventative measures. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and French between 1996 and April 2017. They included 67 studies, from Australia and New Zealand (3 studies), Canada (23), France (2), Sweden (2), UK (6) and USA (21).

What was found: The most commonly mentioned avoidable incidents leading to emergency department visits and hospitalizations by older adults with cognitive impairment were falls, traffic accidents, burns and harm due to self-neglect or wandering.

Possible preventative measures for unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalizations for older adults with cognitive impairment included modifications to the environment or person’s habits, government measures and a multidisciplinary team at the emergency department, but the effects are uncertain.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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