Geriatric assessment of older adults with cancer during unplanned hospitalizations: An opportunity in disguise

Academic Article


  • Background. Geriatric assessment (GA) is an important tool for management of older cancer patients; however, GA research has been performed primarily in the outpatient setting. The primary objective of this study was to determine feasibility of GA during an unplanned hospital stay. Secondary objectives were to describe deficits found with GA, to assess whether clinicians recognized and addressed deficits, and to determine 30-day readmission rates. Materials and Methods. The study was designed as an extension of an existing registry, “Carolina Senior: Registry for Older Patients.” Inclusion criteria were age 70 and older and biopsy-proven solid tumor, myeloma, or lymphoma. Patients had to complete the GA within 7 days of nonelective admission to University of North Carolina Hospital. Results. A total of 142 patients were approached, and 90 (63%) consented to participation. All sections of GA had at least an 83% completion rate. Overall, 53% of patients reported problems with physical function, 63% had deficits in instrumental activities of daily living, 34% reported falls, 12% reported depression, 31% had$10% weight loss, and 12% had abnormalities in cognition. Physician documentation of each deficit ranged from 20% to 46%. Rates of referrals to allied health professionals were not significantly different between patients withandwithoutdeficits.The30-day readmission rate was 29%. Conclusion. GA was feasible in this population. Hospitalized older cancer patients have high levels of functional and psychosocial deficits; however, clinician recognition and management of deficits were poor. The use of GA instruments to guide referrals to appropriate services is away to potentially improve outcome sin this vulnerable population.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mariano C; Williams G; Deal A; Alston S; Bryant AL; Jolly T; Muss HB
  • Start Page

  • 767
  • End Page

  • 772
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 7