OBJECTIVES: to study (i) the prevalence of geriatric conditions in community-dwelling older persons at increased risk of functional decline and (ii) the extent to which older persons recognise comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA)-identified conditions as relevant problems.
METHODS: trained registered nurses conducted a CGA in 934 out of 1209 older persons at increased risk of functional decline participating in the intervention arm of a randomised trial in the Netherlands. After screening for 32 geriatric conditions, participants were asked which of the identified geriatric conditions they recognised as relevant problems.
RESULTS: at baseline, the median age of participants was 82.9 years (interquartile range (IQR) 77.3-87.3 years). The median number of identified geriatric conditions per participant was 8 (IQR 6-11). The median number of geriatric conditions that were recognised was 1 (IQR 0-2). Functional dependency and (increased risk of) alcohol and drug dependency were the most commonly identified conditions. Pain was the most widely recognised problem.
CONCLUSION: CGA identified many geriatric conditions, of which few were recognised as a problem by the person involved. Further study is needed to better understand how older persons interact with identified geriatric conditions, in terms of perceived relevance. This may yield a more efficient CGA and further improve a patient-centred approach.