Structure and processes of emergency observation units with a geriatric focus: a scoping review

Heeren, Pieter and Hendrikx, Annabelle and Ceyssens, Janne and Devriendt, Els and Deschodt, Mieke and Desruelles, Didier and Flamaing, Johan and Sabbe, Marc and Milisen, Koen. (2021) Structure and processes of emergency observation units with a geriatric focus: a scoping review. BMC Geriatrics, 21 (1). p. 95.

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Combining observation principles and geriatric care concepts is considered a promising strategy for risk-stratification of older patients with emergency care needs. We aimed to map the structure and processes of emergency observation units (EOUs) with a geriatric focus and explore to what extent the comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) approach was implemented in EOUs.; The revised scoping methodology framework of Arksey and O'Malley was applied. Manuscripts reporting on dedicated areas within hospitals for observation of older patients with emergency care needs were eligible for inclusion. Electronic database searches were performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL in combination with backward snowballing. Two researchers conducted data charting independently. Data-charting forms were developed and iteratively refined. Data inconsistencies were judged by a third researcher or discussed in the research team. Quality assessment was conducted with the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies.; Sixteen quantitative studies were included reporting on fifteen EOUs in seven countries across three continents. These units were located in the ED, immediately next to the ED or remote from the ED (i.e. hospital-based). All studies reported that staffing consisted of at least three healthcare professions. Observation duration varied between 4 and 72 h. Most studies focused on medical and functional assessment. Four studies reported to assess a patients' medical, functional, cognitive and social capabilities. If deemed necessary, post-discharge follow-up (e.g. community/primary care services and/or outpatient clinics) was provided in eleven studies.; This scoping review documented that the structure and processes of EOUs with a geriatric focus are very heterogeneous and rarely cover all elements of CGA. Further research is necessary to determine how complex care principles of 'observation medicine' and 'CGA' can ideally be merged and successfully implemented in clinical care.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Institut für Pflegewissenschaft
UniBasel Contributors:Deschodt, Mieke
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:10 Mar 2021 10:31
Deposited On:10 Mar 2021 10:31

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