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Open Access 01-12-2022 | Research

The effectiveness of interventions to reduce adverse outcomes among older adults following Emergency Department discharge: umbrella review

Authors: Mairéad Conneely, Siobhán Leahy, Liz Dore, Dominic Trépel, Katie Robinson, Fionnuala Jordan, Rose Galvin

Published in: BMC Geriatrics | Issue 1/2022

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Abstract

Background

Population ageing is increasing rapidly worldwide. Older adults are frequent users of health care services including the Emergency Department (ED) and experience a number of adverse outcomes following an ED visit. Adverse outcomes include functional decline, unplanned hospital admission and an ED revisit. Given these adverse outcomes a number of interventions have been examined to improve the outcomes of older adults following presentation to the ED. The aim of this umbrella review was to evaluate the effectiveness of ED interventions in reducing adverse outcomes in older adults discharged from the ED.

Methods

Systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials investigating ED interventions for older adults presenting to the ED exploring clinical, patient experience and healthcare utilisation outcomes were included. A comprehensive search strategy was employed in eleven databases and the PROSPERO register up until June 2020. Grey literature was also searched. Quality was assessed using the A MeaSurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews 2 tool. Overlap between systematic reviews was assessed using a matrix of evidence table. An algorithm to assign the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation to assess the strength of evidence was applied for all outcomes.

Results

Nine systematic reviews including 29 randomised controlled trials were included. Interventions comprised of solely ED-based or transitional interventions. The specific interventions delivered were highly variable. There was high overlap and low methodological quality of the trials informing the systematic reviews. There is low quality evidence to support ED interventions in reducing functional decline, improving patient experience and improving quality of life. The quality of evidence of the effectiveness of ED interventions to reduce mortality and ED revisits varied from very low to moderate. Results were presented narratively and summary of evidence tables created.

Conclusion

Older adults are the most important emerging group in healthcare for several economic, social and political reasons. The existing evidence for the effectiveness of ED interventions for older adults is limited. This umbrella review highlights the challenge of synthesising evidence due to significant heterogeneity in methods, intervention content and reporting of outcomes. Higher quality intervention studies in line with current geriatric medicine research guidelines are recommended, rather than the publication of further systematic reviews.

Trial registration

UMBRELLA REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO (CRD42020145315).
Appendix
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Metadata
Title
The effectiveness of interventions to reduce adverse outcomes among older adults following Emergency Department discharge: umbrella review
Authors
Mairéad Conneely
Siobhán Leahy
Liz Dore
Dominic Trépel
Katie Robinson
Fionnuala Jordan
Rose Galvin
Publication date
01-12-2022
Publisher
BioMed Central
Published in
BMC Geriatrics / Issue 1/2022
Electronic ISSN: 1471-2318
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-022-03007-5

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