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Hospital-Acquired Complications in a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of a Geriatric Consultation Team

Peter M. Becker, MD; Laura J. McVey, RN, MSN; Constance C. Saltz, PhD; John R. Feussner, MD; Harvey Jay Cohen, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(17):2313-2317. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390170069030.
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As part of a controlled clinical trial of a geriatric consultation team (GCT), we investigated whether a GCT could affect the incidence of hospital-acquired complications in elderly patients. One hundred eighty-five patients, aged 75 years and older, were randomized into an intervention (N = 92) and a control (N = 93) group. Members of the intervention group received a GCT consultation and were routinely followed up throughout their hospitalization. The incidence of hospital-acquired complications for the entire study population was 38%. The type and rate of hospital-acquired complications in the intervention and control groups were not significantly different. Functional status on admission and admission to the psychiatry service were predictive for the occurrence of a hospital-acquired complication. In a broadly selected population such as this, the intensity of care available through a GCT was unable to reduce the occurrence of hospital-acquired complications. However, since this is only one aspect of a GCT function, and others may be of great importance, such aspects, and more targeted populations, must be evaluated before final conclusions can be reached about GCT efficiency.

(JAMA 1987;257:2313-2317)


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