Deakin University

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The impact of a cognitive impairment support program on patients in an acute care setting: a pre-test post-test intervention study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-26, 05:53 authored by A Fox, J Dulhunty, E Ballard, M Fraser, M Macandrew, S Taranec, R Waters, M Yang, Mark YatesMark Yates, C Yelland, E Beattie
BACKGROUND: Patients with cognitive impairment are at greater risk of hospital acquired complications, longer hospital stays, and poor health outcomes compared to patients without cognitive impairment. The Cognitive Impairment Support Program is a multi-disciplinary approach to improve screening rates and awareness of patients with cognitive impairment and guide clinician response and communication during their hospitalisation to improve health outcomes. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the impact of implementing the Cognitive Impairment Support Program on patient hospital acquired complications, patient reported quality of life and staff satisfaction in an outer metropolitan hospital. DESIGN: A pre-test post-test design was used to collect data in two 6-month time periods between March 2020 and November 2021. PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged ≥ 65 years, admitted to a participating ward for > 24 h. INTERVENTION: The Cognitive Impairment Support Program consisted of four components: cognitive impairment screening, initiation of a Cognitive Impairment Care Plan, use of a Cognitive Impairment Identifier and associated staff education. MEASURES: The primary outcome was hospital acquired complications experienced by patients with cognitive impairment identified using clinical coding data. Secondary outcomes were patient quality of life and a staff confidence and perceived organisational support to care for patients with cognitive impairment. RESULTS: Hospital acquired complication rates did not vary significantly between the two data collection periods for patients experiencing cognitive impairment with a 0.2% (95% confidence interval: -5.7-6.1%) reduction in admissions with at least one hospital acquired complication. Patients in the post intervention period demonstrated statistically significant improvements in many items in two of the Dementia Quality of Life Measure domains: memory and everyday life. The staff survey indicated statistically significant improvement in clinical staff confidence to care for patients with cognitive impairment (p = 0.003), satisfaction with organisational support for patients (p = 0.004) and job satisfaction (p ≤ 0.001). CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that a multicomponent Cognitive Impairment Support Program had a positive impact on staff confidence and satisfaction and patient quality of life. Broader implementation with further evaluation of the multicomponent cognitive impairment intervention across a range of settings using varied patient outcomes is recommended.



BMC geriatrics



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