Benefits of active participation of family physicians in geriatric consultations

Yan Press, Aya Biderman, Roni Peleg, Howard Tandeter, Tzvi Dwolatzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Geriatric consultation services are generally beneficial in improving the health and well-being of the elderly. We prospectively studied whether the active participation of family physicians (FPs) in the process of geriatric consultation would improve implementation rates and benefit the health care of the elderly. Methods: We carried out a comparative prospective intervention study in three urban academic family medicine clinics. Patients in the control clinics were evaluated by the consultant geriatrician, and a summary of the findings and recommendations were presented to the FP in a brief meeting. In the intervention clinic, the referring FP joined the geriatrician throughout the geriatric assessment. The percentage of implementation of suggested recommendations was evaluated. Information regarding the utilization of health services was provided from computerized data. Results: Of the 212 patients included in the study, 107 were in the intervention group and 105 were controls. The overall rate of implementation was significantly higher for patients in the intervention group (329/445; 73.9%) than for patients in the control group (232/387; 59.9%), P<0.0001. In the year after the geriatric assessment, those in the intervention group visited the FP less often. Conclusions: A model co-consultation actively involving the FP in the process of assessment of the older patient by the geriatrician improves the degree of implementation of recommendations without an increase in related heath care utilization and costs. This model should be further developed and studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-732
Number of pages8
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Community and family medicine
  • Family physician
  • Geriatric consultation elderly
  • Geriatric medicine
  • Health care utilization
  • Implementation of recommendation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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