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Geriatrics, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Delirium Using the Confusion Assessment Method in Older Adult Inpatients in Malaysia
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030052 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 320
Abstract
The detection of delirium in acutely ill older patients is challenging with the lack of informants and the necessity to identify subtle and fluctuating signs. We conducted a cross-sectional study among older patients admitted to a university hospital in Malaysia to determine the [...] Read more.
The detection of delirium in acutely ill older patients is challenging with the lack of informants and the necessity to identify subtle and fluctuating signs. We conducted a cross-sectional study among older patients admitted to a university hospital in Malaysia to determine the presence, characteristics, and mortality outcomes of delirium. Consecutive patients aged ≥65years admitted to acute medical wards were recruited from August to September 2016. Cognitive screening was performed using the mini-mental test examination (MMSE) and the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM). The CAM-Severity (CAM-S) score was also performed in all patients. Of 161 patients recruited, 43 (26.7%) had delirium. At least one feature of delirium from the CAM-S short and long severity scores were present in 48.4% and 67.1%, respectively. Older age (OR: 1.07, 95% CI: 1.01–1.14), immobility (OR: 3.16, 95% CI: 1.18–8.50), cognitive impairment (OR: 5.04, 95% CI: 2.07–12.24), and malnutrition (OR: 3.37; 95% CI: 1.15–9.85) were significantly associated with delirium. Older patients with delirium had a higher risk of mortality (OR: 7.87, 95% CI: 2.42–25.57). Delirium is common among older patients in our setting. A large proportion of patients had altered mental status on admission to hospital although they did not fulfill the CAM criteria of delirium. This should prompt further studies on strategies to identify delirium and the use of newer, more appropriate assessment tools in this group of vulnerable individuals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Education as the Great Equalizer? Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Effect of Education on Cognitive Impairment in Later Life
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030051 - 05 Sep 2019
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Though evidence suggests that the prevalence of cognitive impairment has declined, there still exists a disproportionate burden of ill cognitive health for people of color. In this paper, we test two alternative mechanisms to explain the interactive effect of education and race/ethnicity on [...] Read more.
Though evidence suggests that the prevalence of cognitive impairment has declined, there still exists a disproportionate burden of ill cognitive health for people of color. In this paper, we test two alternative mechanisms to explain the interactive effect of education and race/ethnicity on cognitive impairment risk: the minority poverty and diminishing returns hypotheses. Drawing on data from the 2012 wave of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (n = 8093), we estimate logistic regression models to determine differential effects of education on cognitive impairment. We find that non-Hispanic black and Mexican American older adults have higher odds of being cognitively impaired compared to whites, though the ethnic difference (whites vs. Mexican Americans) is mediated by education. Further, we find that while high levels of education are protective against cognitive impairment at older ages, it is more protective for non-Hispanic blacks than for whites and more protective for whites than Mexican Americans. Lastly, we find that racial/ethnic disparities are widest at lower levels of education, consistent with the minority poverty hypothesis. We conclude that the results herein highlight the importance of attending to how factors that are protective for cognitive functioning (e.g., education) may operate differently across racial and ethnic groups. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Attitudes Towards the Use of Restraint and Restrictive Intervention Amongst Healthcare Staff on Acute Medical and Frailty Wards—A Brief Literature Review
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030050 - 04 Sep 2019
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Restraint in modern non-psychiatric-based healthcare is often regarded as a rare occurrence. It is deemed to be used as a last resort to prevent patients from directly harming themselves. However, techniques are used in modern day practice which are considered direct and indirect [...] Read more.
Restraint in modern non-psychiatric-based healthcare is often regarded as a rare occurrence. It is deemed to be used as a last resort to prevent patients from directly harming themselves. However, techniques are used in modern day practice which are considered direct and indirect restraints with the justification of maintaining patient safety, but they are often not classified as “restraints”. Examples of these include the use of bed rails or tables to prevent patients from “wandering” and to reduce the risk of falls and injuries. More indirect techniques would involve passive interactions with patients or leaving mobility aids out of reach. Staff subconsciously restrain patients and reduce their liberties despite agreeing that patient autonomy should be upheld—a necessary evil to maintain a duty of care. Whilst the use of restraints is often justified to ensure patient care and prevent injury, it is not without consequence. There are physical and psychological health risks such as pressure sores from the inability to mobilise, or the brewing of anger and frustration when denied access to everyday actions. The reasons why restraints are used, whilst stemming from maintaining patient safety, are often due to low staffing levels and the inability to constantly watch at-risk patients due to a large workload. Inadequate training is another factor; by improving education in direct and indirect restraint and providing alternative methods, more ethical decisions and positive outcomes can be implemented. Healthcare professionals are reluctant to use restraint but often conduct it without realising it; assessing their understanding of restraint and providing education to raise awareness of the consequences of direct and indirect methods would result in positive steps toward reducing their use at the same time as looking to provide alternatives to uphold patient care whilst maintaining their dignity and liberty. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Utilization of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners in Later Life in Mainland China
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030049 - 25 Aug 2019
Viewed by 559
Abstract
Mainland China is one of the world’s most rapidly aging countries, and yet there is very limited literature on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use in older individuals. This study aimed to determine the national and provincial prevalence of TCM practitioner utilization in later [...] Read more.
Mainland China is one of the world’s most rapidly aging countries, and yet there is very limited literature on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use in older individuals. This study aimed to determine the national and provincial prevalence of TCM practitioner utilization in later life and associated factors. We used World Health Organization China Study on Global Aging and Adult Health Wave 1 data to determine descriptive statistics of the study population of participants aged 50 years and over. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted controlling for sociodemographic and health factors. A total of 14% of participants utilized a TCM practitioner, and the prevalence of utilization varied significantly by locality. Utilization was more likely in participants living in rural areas [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 12.96; p < 0.001], Hubei (OR = 7.17; p < 0.001), or Shandong provinces (OR = 4.21; p < 0.001) and being diagnosed with chronic lung disease (OR = 1.97; p = 0.005). Hence, rurality, provincial influence, and chronic lung diseases are significant factors associated with TCM practitioner utilization among older individuals in China. These findings may inform policy for preservation and development of TCM nationally as well as its sustainability in an increasingly aging society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthy Aging)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Development of a Digital Dysphagia Guide with Care Homes: Co-Production and Evaluation of a Nutrition Support Tool
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030048 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 797
Abstract
Good nutrition is a recognised outcome in the health and well-being of older care home residents and dysphagia is a known risk factor associated with under nutrition and poor outcomes. The study co-produced a digital Dysphagia Guide with Care Homes using a consensus [...] Read more.
Good nutrition is a recognised outcome in the health and well-being of older care home residents and dysphagia is a known risk factor associated with under nutrition and poor outcomes. The study co-produced a digital Dysphagia Guide with Care Homes using a consensus method with interviews and focus groups to prioritise the need for information and explore acceptability of an educational tool for care home workers. Evaluation of use, acceptability of design, and content of the guide were completed via remote monitoring. The workforce prioritised the need for training as well as the knowledge and skills in relation to planning resident-centred care and advice on textured diets. The technology was a means of offering ‘bite-size’ learning to enhance planning for nutrition across the whole organisation including managers, kitchen staff, and care workers. The Guide to Dysphagia was produced on a tablet and piloted in four care homes over 12 weeks, by 57 staff. Integrated analytics allowed user activity to be monitored. Findings showed that 73% of respondents reported the guide helped them in their job. Additionally, 88% of respondents stated they would recommend the guide to other staff, with 90% reporting it was easy to use. Engagement with staff and managers in four homes resulted in a co-designed, dysphagia guide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Rehabilitation and Management of Dysphagia)
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Open AccessEditorial
Population Ageing: The Need for a Care Revolution in a World 2.0
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030047 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 662
Abstract
In recent years, we have seen a substantial improvement in social and health conditions, with a significant increase in the human survival rate as never seen before [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Implementation of a Surgical Liaison Service for Elderly Patients: A Single Unit Experience
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030046 - 28 Jul 2019
Viewed by 761
Abstract
Older people over the age of 65 years are recognized as higher risk surgical candidates and it is therefore recommended that their care should be coordinated through a multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach involving senior geriatricians, anaesthetists and surgeons. As one of only a [...] Read more.
Older people over the age of 65 years are recognized as higher risk surgical candidates and it is therefore recommended that their care should be coordinated through a multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach involving senior geriatricians, anaesthetists and surgeons. As one of only a handful of hospitals to implement a liaison service for elderly surgical patients we have seen both quantitative and qualitative improvements in the care delivered. Both co-ordination and continuity of care has improved and overall staff feel that the service forms an integral part of caring for the older surgical patient. Currently only 1% of UK hospitals are meeting targets for implementation of liaison services for their elderly surgical patients. Our surgical liaison service offers consultant led care for older people and is valued amongst users. We would like to share our experiences in the service setup, provision and its subsequent impact on patient care. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Status Epilepticus among Older Adults in the United States
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030045 - 23 Jul 2019
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Objective: This study aimed to identify temporal time trends and risk factors associated with mortality for hospitalized older adults with status epilepticus (SE). Design: A retrospective study was performed. Setting: Hospitalized patients were identified utilizing an administrative database—The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from [...] Read more.
Objective: This study aimed to identify temporal time trends and risk factors associated with mortality for hospitalized older adults with status epilepticus (SE). Design: A retrospective study was performed. Setting: Hospitalized patients were identified utilizing an administrative database—The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from 1998 through September 2015. Patients: Patients were older adults 65 years and older with SE. Interventions: No interventions were undertaken. Measurements and Main Results: Demographic, temporal trends, clinical characteristics, and outcome data were abstracted. The results indicated that hospitalized elderly Americans with SE increased over the 11-year study period. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate risk factors associated with mortality in the study cohort. From the weighted sample, 130,109 subjects were included. Overall mortality was 19%. For age subgroups, the mortality was highest for the >85 years age group (24.1%) compared to the 65–75 years (19%) and 75–85 years (23%) age groups. Among investigated etiologies, the three most common causes of SE were acute ischemic stroke (11.2% of total) followed by non-traumatic brain hemorrhage (5.4%) and malignant brain lesions (4.9%). The highest mortality by etiology was noted for acute traumatic brain injury (TBI) (31.5%), non-traumatic brain hemorrhage (31%), and acute ischemic stroke (AIS) (30.1%). Multivariate analysis indicated that non-survivors when compared to survivors were more like to have the following characteristics: older age group, acute TBI, brain neoplasms, non-traumatic brain hemorrhage, AIS and central nervous system (CNS) infections, and utilization of mechanical ventilation. Associated conditions significantly increasing risk of mortality were sodium imbalance, cardiac arrest, anoxic brain injury, pneumonia, and sepsis. Comorbidities associated with increased risk of mortality included valvular heart disease, renal failure, liver disease, and neoplasms. Conclusions: The number of hospitalized elderly Americans with SE increased over the 11-year study period. Overall mortality was 19%, with even higher mortality among various patient subsets. Several demographic and co-morbid factors are associated with increased mortality in this age group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Neurology)
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Open AccessReview
Effect of Cognitive Training on Daily Function in Older People without Major Neurocognitive Disorder: A Systematic Review
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030044 - 18 Jul 2019
Viewed by 955
Abstract
There is increasing interest in the effect of non-pharmacological treatments on preserving cognition and function in older adults without major neurocognitive disorder (dementia). However, its effect on everyday function in terms of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) is unclear. We conducted a [...] Read more.
There is increasing interest in the effect of non-pharmacological treatments on preserving cognition and function in older adults without major neurocognitive disorder (dementia). However, its effect on everyday function in terms of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) is unclear. We conducted a systematic review to examine whether cognitive training, independent of other interventions, can improve IADL function in older adults without major neurocognitive disorder. We searched multiple databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PSYCINFO and found thirteen studies that met our inclusion criteria with 7130 participants in total. Six out of thirteen studies reported a significant change on validated IADL assessment. On subgroup analysis, five studies included older adults with normal cognition and one included mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Eleven out of twelve studies showed improvement in measures of cognition. None of the studies described changes in the ability to live independently. While variation in study protocol, outcome measurement, and effect size reporting precluded further inferential statistical analysis, our review found a sizable number of studies showing improvement in IADL. Cognitive training may have some benefit in improving IADL function in older adults without major neurocognitive disorder. Future long-term studies focusing on maintained IADL function and preserved independence are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care and Successful Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Use of Reaction Force to Evaluate Older Adults’ Gait Patterns While Using a Walker to Walk
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030043 - 14 Jul 2019
Viewed by 895
Abstract
Walking is the most common activity in daily life. As people age, however, they begin to become imbalanced and need the assistance of mobility devices for walking, such as walkers. However, clinical gait measurement requires a lot of equipment to be worn; as [...] Read more.
Walking is the most common activity in daily life. As people age, however, they begin to become imbalanced and need the assistance of mobility devices for walking, such as walkers. However, clinical gait measurement requires a lot of equipment to be worn; as walker users are seniors or disabled, this may cause them to be troubled in the assessment. Thus, this study used four load cells on the walker to estimate gait status. To understand the difference between the three groups of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), 60 volunteers, who served as the subjects, were divided into three groups according to BBS scores, 20 volunteers for each group. Data were obtained from four load cells; walker users were divided per the BBS to observe their stance, swing phases, and support force while walking. The results of the study found that participants in the study were able to walk smoothly with the walker, and differences between the three groups in stance, swing phases, and support force were observed. The main findings of this study were: (1) While walking, the stance and swing phases could be stabilized by the evaluated gait; and (2) even if the user can walk stably, body function can be evaluated by the support force. We hope that our method will be widely applied in the design of mobility devices and in the evaluation of seniors’ care; we also hope our study will contribute to increasing knowledge, generally, in this field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Natural History of Swallow Function during the Three-Month Period after Stroke
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030042 - 09 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1278
Abstract
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is a prevalent complication following stroke (PS-OD), and one that is sometimes spontaneously recovered. This study describes the natural history of PS-OD between admission and three months post-stroke, and the factors associated with its prevalence and development. PS-OD was assessed with [...] Read more.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia is a prevalent complication following stroke (PS-OD), and one that is sometimes spontaneously recovered. This study describes the natural history of PS-OD between admission and three months post-stroke, and the factors associated with its prevalence and development. PS-OD was assessed with the volume-viscosity swallow test (V-VST) in all stroke patients on admission and at the three-month follow-up. We analyzed clinical, demographic, and neuroanatomical factors of 247 older post-stroke patients (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) = 3.5 ± 3.8), comparing among those with PS-OD the ones with and without spontaneous recovery. PS-OD prevalence on admission was 39.7% (34.0% impaired safety; 30.8%, efficacy) and 41.7% (19.4% impaired safety; 39.3%, efficacy) at three months. Spontaneous swallow recovery occurred in 42.4% of patients with unsafe and in 29.9% with ineffective swallow, associated with younger age and optimal functional status. However, 26% of post-stroke patients developed new signs/symptoms of ineffective swallow related to poor functional, nutritional and health status, and institutionalization. PS-OD prevalence on admission and at the three-month follow-up was very high in the study population. PS-OD is a dynamic condition with some spontaneous recovery in patients with optimal functional status, but also new signs/symptoms can appear due to poor functionality. Regular PS-OD monitoring is needed to identify patients at risk of nutritional and respiratory complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Rehabilitation and Management of Dysphagia)
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Neighborhood Open Space Features and Walking and Social Interaction in Older Adults—A Mixed Methods Study
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030041 - 06 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1003
Abstract
Neighborhood Open Spaces (NOS) such as public spaces around people’s homes, parks and village greens, may support activity and socializing for older adults. These spaces might be especially important for older adults as they typically are less mobile and have smaller activity spaces [...] Read more.
Neighborhood Open Spaces (NOS) such as public spaces around people’s homes, parks and village greens, may support activity and socializing for older adults. These spaces might be especially important for older adults as they typically are less mobile and have smaller activity spaces and social networks than other age groups. The present exploratory sequential mixed methods study investigates the association between built environment features, social interaction, and walking within NOS, among older adults living in a low socio-economic neighborhood in Copenhagen. Interviews, the Community Park Audit Tool, and the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) were used to capture quantitative and qualitative data on 353 older adults (59–90 years old) within 11 NOS. Walking was predicted by the condition and shade along paths, seating and landscaping. Social interaction was negatively associated with walking, suggesting that older adults tend to sit down when engaging in social activities. Interviews highlighted the importance of social interaction within NOS. Future designs of NOS should acknowledge the importance of social meeting places, but at the same time provide walkable spaces for older adults to promote healthy aging. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Geriatric Assessment in Multicultural Immigrant Populations
Geriatrics 2019, 4(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4030040 - 26 Jun 2019
Viewed by 1093
Abstract
While the traditional comprehensive geriatric assessment provides valuable information essential to caring for older adults, it often falls short in multicultural immigrant populations. The number of foreign-born older adults is growing, and in some regions of the United States of America (U.S.), they [...] Read more.
While the traditional comprehensive geriatric assessment provides valuable information essential to caring for older adults, it often falls short in multicultural immigrant populations. The number of foreign-born older adults is growing, and in some regions of the United States of America (U.S.), they encompass a significant portion of the older adult population. To ensure we are caring for this culturally diverse population adequately, we need to develop a more culturally competent comprehensive geriatric assessment. In this review, we explore ways in which to do this, address areas unique to multicultural immigrant populations, and identify limitations of the current assessment tools when applied to these populations. In order to be more culturally sensitive, we should incorporate the concepts of ethnogeriatrics into a comprehensive geriatric assessment, by addressing topics like healthcare disparities, language barriers, health literacy, acculturation level, and culturally defined beliefs. Additionally, we must be sensitive to the limitations of our current assessment tools and consider how we can expand our assessment toolkit to address these limitations. We discuss the limitations in cognitive screening tests, delirium assessments, functional and mental health assessments, advance care planning, and elder abuse. Full article
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