The course of geriatric syndromes in acutely hospitalized older adults: the Hospital-ADL study.

Rosanne van Seben, Lucienne A Reichardt, Jesse J. Aarden, Marike van der Schaaf, Martin van der Esch, Raoul H.H. Engelbert, Jos W R Twisk, Jos A Bosch, Bianca M. Buurman

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To establish the prevalence and course of geriatric syndromes from hospital admission up to 3 months postdischarge and to determine the probability to retain geriatric syndromes over the period from discharge until 3 months postdischarge, once they are present at admission.

Prospective multicenter cohort study conducted between October 2015 and June 2017.

Setting and participants
Acutely hospitalized patients aged 70 years and older recruited from internal, cardiology, and geriatric wards of 6 Dutch hospitals.

Cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms, apathy, pain, malnutrition, incontinence, dizziness, fatigue, mobility impairment, functional impairment, fall risk, and fear of falling were assessed at admission, discharge, and 1, 2, and 3 months postdischarge. Generalized estimating equations analysis were performed to analyze the course of syndromes and to determine the probability to retain syndromes.

A total of 401 participants [mean age (standard deviation) 79.7 (6.7)] were included. At admission, a median of 5 geriatric syndromes were present. Most prevalent were fatigue (77.2%), functional impairment (62.3%), apathy (57.5%), mobility impairment (54.6%), and fear of falling (40.6%). At 3 months postdischarge, an average of 3 syndromes were present, of which mobility impairment (52.7%), fatigue (48.1%), and functional impairment (42.5%) were most prevalent. Tracking analysis showed that geriatric syndromes that were present at admission were likely to be retained. The following 6 geriatric syndromes were most likely to stay present postdischarge: mobility impairment, incontinence, cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms, functional impairment, and fear of falling.

Acutely hospitalized older adults exhibit a broad spectrum of highly prevalent geriatric syndromes. Moreover, patients are likely to retain symptoms that are present at admission postdischarge. Our study underscores the need to address a wide range of syndromes at admission, the importance of communication on syndromes to the next care provider, and the need for adequate follow-up care and syndrome management postdischarge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-158
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


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