The effect of a gerontology nurse specialist for high needs older people in the community on healthcare utilisation: a controlled before-after study

A.l.l King, Michal Boyd, D.L Raphael, A Jull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Nurse-led models of comprehensive geriatric assessment and care coordination can improve health management as well as reduce hospitalisations for high risk community dwelling older people. This study investigated the effect on healthcare utilisation of systematic case finding to identify high risk older people in the community with a subsequent comprehensive assessment and care coordination intervention by a Gerontology Nurse Specialist based in primary care.
Methods: This was a controlled before-after study design located within primary healthcare practices in Auckland, New Zealand. An intervention model was initiated within two primary healthcare practices and involved a screening tool to identify high risk older people with succeeding gerontology nurse specialist assessment and care coordination. The comparison group included older people who received usual care at three comparable primary healthcare practices. The primary outcome measure was acute hospital admissions. Secondary outcomes included hospital re-admissions, length of stay, emergency department presentations, residential care admissions, and community contacts.
Results: A total of 579 older people were posted the screening tool in the intervention group, with 517 completed screens (89% response rate) formulating the intervention group. A total of 101 older people were identified as high
risk from these screens (20%). The comparison group comprised 883 older people. Comparing the intervention and comparison group, no statistical differences were found for hospital admissions, emergency department presentations, hospital re-admissions, length of stay, or residential care admission. Community Pysiotherapy showed a statistically significant increase for the intervention compared to the comparison group (p = 0.03). Non-significant findings revealed decreased risk of entering residential care and fewer frequent hospital readmissions for the intervention group when compared with the comparison group.
Conclusions: This specialist nurse-led intervention involving comprehensive assessment and care coordination care did not appear superior to usual care, however, there is benefit to exploring a more robust randomised controlled
trial design.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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