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.
Becker PM, McVey LJ, Saltz CC, Feussner JR, Cohen HJ. Hospital-Acquired Complications in a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of a Geriatric Consultation Team. JAMA. 1987;257(17):2313-2317. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390170069030