Geriatric inpatient units in the care of hospitalized frail adults with a history of heart failure

Shahyar Michael Gharacholou, Richard Sloane, Harvey J. Cohen, Kenneth E. Schmader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Frail hospitalized older adults are at risk for adverse outcomes. Previous studies have suggested benefits for inpatient geriatric management (GEM). We sought to determine whether hospitalized patients with a history of heart failure (HF) benefitted from inpatient GEM or not. Methods: We studied 309 inpatients previously diagnosed with HF who were participants in a randomized trial of geriatric evaluation and management (GEM) versus usual care (UC). The intervention involved multidisciplinary teams that provided comprehensive geriatric assessment. We evaluated health-related quality of life (HRQOL), basic activities of daily living (ADLs), health service utilization, and survival at discharge, 6 months, and 1 year post randomization. Results: GEM patients had higher mean change scores for physical function (unadjusted means: 0.17 vs. -4.67, p = 0.046) and basic ADLs (1.25 vs. 0.67, p = 0.003) at hospital discharge, which remained significant after adjusting for baseline HRQOL scores and in-hospital days. Outcomes were not significantly different at 1 year. Length of stay for GEM was greater than UC (24 days vs. 17 days, p = 0.03), but total costs at 1 year were not different (p = 0.9). Mortality rates at 1 year were high and similar (GEM 29.0%, UC 27.3%, p = 0.73) in both the groups. Conclusion: Inpatient GEM was associated with better maintenance of physical function and basic ADLs at hospital discharge; however, no differences in HRQOL or survival were observed between GEM and UC at 1 year post randomization. Restructuring inpatient care models to incorporate inpatient GEM principles may be one method to optimize health-care delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • frail elderly
  • geriatric assessment
  • heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Geriatric inpatient units in the care of hospitalized frail adults with a history of heart failure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this