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An Inpatient Geriatrics Program with a Focus on Any Type of Cognitive Impairment Reduces Mortality

December 19, 2022

BACKGROUND:
No matter what type of cognitive impairment an older hospitalized patient has, the risk of mortality is increased. OBJECTIVES: To describe a hospital-based geriatrics program with a focus on any type of cognitive impairment and to determine whether this program was associated with reduced mortality over time.
DESIGN, PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING:
Retrospective chart review of all patients age 70+ admitted during a 3-year period (2017- 2019, N=20,401), to a 500-bed community-based hospital (Level 1 Trauma Center and Stroke Center).
INTERVENTION:
A multicomponent geriatrics program was developed and implemented throughout 2018 and included: geriatric consultation, data collection, review of the data with hospital leaders, a geriatrics task force, clinician education and a Delirium Unit.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
Monthly mortality rates for patients with and without cognitive impairment over the 3-year period. To control for other variables associated with mortality, pre-post implementation analyses were performed (2017 versus 2019).
RESULTS:
A linear regression analysis showed a significant downward trend in mortality over time for patients with cognitive impairment [R2=0.4, P<.0001, (correlation coefficient -0.6, 95% CI, -0.8 to -0.4)] but not among patients without cognitive impairment [R2=0.0, P=0.829, (correlation coefficient 0.0, 95% CI, -0.3 to 0.3)]. When controlling for other variables, there was still a decrease in mortality risk among patients with cognitive impairment. CONCLUSION:
Although there are limitations to this study, a multicomponent geriatrics program with an emphasis on any type of cognitive impairment, may be associated with improved mortality.
Key words:
Cognitive impairment, inpatient geriatrics program, mortality.