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Article
May 1, 1987

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

Author Affiliations

From the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (Drs Becker, Saltz, and Cohen and Ms McVey) and Health Services Research Field Program (Dr Feussner), Veterans Administration Medical Center; and the Division of Geriatrics (Drs Becker and Cohen) and the Department of Medicine and Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development (Drs Saltz, Feussner, and Cohen and Ms McVey), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Dr Becker is now with the Department of Medicine, SUNY-Health Science Center at Syracuse, NY.

From the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (Drs Becker, Saltz, and Cohen and Ms McVey) and Health Services Research Field Program (Dr Feussner), Veterans Administration Medical Center; and the Division of Geriatrics (Drs Becker and Cohen) and the Department of Medicine and Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development (Drs Saltz, Feussner, and Cohen and Ms McVey), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Dr Becker is now with the Department of Medicine, SUNY-Health Science Center at Syracuse, NY.

JAMA. 1987;257(17):2313-2317. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390170069030
Abstract

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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