Hospital outcomes of older people with cognitive impairment: an integrative review

Carole Fogg, Peter Griffiths, Paul Meredith, Jackie Bridges

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Abstract

Objectives - To summarise existing knowledge of outcomes of older hospital patients with cognitive impairment, including the type and frequency of outcomes reported, and the additional risk experienced by this patient group.

Methods - Integrative literature review. Healthcare literature databases, reports and policy documents on key websites were systematically searched. Papers describing the outcomes of older people with cognitive impairment during hospitalisation and at discharge were analysed and summarised using integrative methods.

Results
- 104 articles were included. A range of outcomes were identified, including those occurring during hospitalisation and at discharge. Older people with a dementia diagnosis were at higher risk from death in hospital, nursing home admission, long lengths of stay, as well as intermediate outcomes such as delirium, falls, dehydration, reduction in nutritional status, decline in physical and cognitive function, and new infections in hospital. Fewer studies examined the relationship of all-cause cognitive impairment with outcomes. Patient and carer experiences of hospital admission were often poor. Few studies collected data relating to hospital environment, .g. ward type or staffing levels, and acuity of illness was rarely described.

Conclusions
- Older people with cognitive impairment have a higher risk of a variety of negative outcomes in hospital. Prevalent intermediate outcomes suggest changes in care processes are required to ensure maintenance of fundamental care provision and greater attention to patient safety in this vulnerable group. More research is required to understand the most appropriate ways of doing this, and how changes in these care processes are best implemented to improve hospital outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1197
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume33
Issue number9
Early online date26 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

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