• Assessment of older adults by emergency medical services: methodology and feasibility of a care partner Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CP-CGA)

    by Alan Batt. Last modified: 24/09/14

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    Goldstein J, Travers A, Hubbard R, Moorhouse P, Andrew MK, Rockwood K. Assessment of older adults by emergency medical services: methodology and feasibility of a care partner Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CP-CGA). CJEM. 2014 Sep 1;16(5):370-7. PMID: 25227645.

    Abstract

    Objectives

    The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is used in geriatric medicine as a means to manage the health care needs of older adults and to grade frailty. We modified the CGA so that it could be completed independently by care partners (usually family) and be used to grade frailty. Our objective was to examine the feasibility of a care partner completing the CGA at the time of the first prehospital encounter.

    Methods

    A prospective, observational study was conducted with a convenience sample of patients ≥ 70 years accompanied by a knowledgeable care partner. Feasibility was measured by the time required and percent completeness of items on the form based on completion by the care partner and by paramedic perception of utility.

    Results

    Subjects (N  =  104) were enrolled with three postenrolment exclusions due to ineligibility. Most participants were older women living in their own home. The mean time to complete the questionnaire was 18.7 minutes (SD 11.3; median 15 minutes; interquartile range 12-20 minutes). Only 64% of the care partners recorded the time it took. Nineteen percent of paramedics completed a follow-up survey, and all felt screening for frailty was worthwhile and most (> 70%) thought that the CP-CGA may be a useful approach. The study was limited by recruitment bias of potentially eligible patients, a high level of missingness in the outcome measures of interest, and low paramedic participation rates.

    Conclusion

    We observed a high rate of item completeness of questionnaires with a mean time to complete of 18.7 minutes in a convenience sample of older patients. A small sample of paramedics universally endorsed the utility of screening for frailty in the prehospital setting, and many thought the CP-CGA was a helpful tool.

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    Alan Batt

    Alan Batt

    Paramedic, educator, researcher
    Alan is a critical care paramedic, paramedic educator and prehospital researcher, currently working around the world as an educator and researcher. He has previously worked and studied across Europe, North America and the Middle East. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Intensive Care Paramedic Studies, and an MSc in Critical Care. His main interests are in care of the elderly, end-of-life care, patient safety, professionalism (including role and identity), and paramedic education.

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