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Comprehensive care: older people living with frailty in hospitals

Author(s)

NIHR DISSEMINATION CENTRE

Publisher(s):

NIHR Dissemination Centre

Publication year:

2017

This review looks at the concept of 'frailty' in older people and what can be done to raise awareness amongst hospital staff, so that they can better identify and manage the needs of this ‘frail’ older people. It features 53 completed and ongoing studies funded by the National Institute of Health Research. The review covers four key aspects of caring for older people living with frailty in hospital: assessment; identifying and managing symptoms associated with frailty in hospital; discharge planning; and caring environments which consider the context in which inpatient diagnosis and treatment is delivered. The review highlights promising evaluations of workplace training and interventions. It also identifies a number of tools, such as the Frailty Index, that can help hospital staff to identify the severity of needs and help to provide targeted support. It also finds good evidence that the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is a reliable way of diagnosing and meeting the needs of older people with input from multi-disciplinary teams. It also identifies areas where more research is needed, which include: maintaining activities of daily living for people admitted to hospital; and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different models of delivering care. The review also includes a series of questions that hospital boards, staff and families can ask about the care of older people with frailty in hospitals. Summaries of the 53 studies are also included. (Edited publisher abstract)


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