National survey of family physicians to define functional decline in elderly patients with minor trauma

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Abstract

Background: Failing to assess elderly patients for functional decline at the time around a minor injury may result in adverse health outcomes. This study was conducted to define what constitutes clinically significant functional decline and the sensitivity required for a clinical decision instrument to identify such functional decline after an injury in previously independent elderly patients. Methods: After a thorough development process, a survey questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 178 family physicians. The surveys were distributed using a modified Dillman technique. Results: From 143 eligible surveys, we received 67 completed surveys (response rate, 46.9 %). Respondents indicated that a drop of at least 3 points on the 28-point Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) ADL Scale was considered clinically significant by 90 % of physicians. Ninety percent (90 %) of physicians would be satisfied with a sensitivity of 90 % or more for a clinical decision instrument to detect patients at risk of functional decline at 6 months following an injury. The majority of family physicians do not routinely assess the majority of the tasks on the OARS scale for injured elderly patients. Conclusions: A high proportion of physicians (90 %) would consider a drop of 3 points on the OARS ADL Scale as significant to define functional decline and would be satisfied with a sensitivity of 90 % for a clinical decision instrument to detect such a decline. Any instrument to identify patients at elevated risk for subsequent decline should consider these outcome measures to be clinically useful.

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APA

Abdulaziz, K. E., Brehaut, J., Taljaard, M., Émond, M., Sirois, M. J., Lee, J. S., … Perry, J. J. (2016, August 22). National survey of family physicians to define functional decline in elderly patients with minor trauma. BMC Family Practice. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12875-016-0520-1

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