Hapca, R. E. et al | 2021| Understanding health-care outcomes of older people with cognitive impairment and/or dementia admitted to hospital: a mixed-methods study | NIHR | Health Services and Delivery Research| Vol. 9 | Issue 8 | Published in April 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3310/hsdr09080
Researchers’ analysis of hospital records indicates that a third of people aged 65 or over admitted to hospital had confusion and that they had higher mortality and had longer hospital stays than those without confusion.
Adopting a mixed-methods approach, the researchers behind this study carried out this piece of research in four ways:
- all available research publications were reviewed.
- hospital records were analysed to calculate the health-care outcomes (e.g. mortality, length of stay and re-admission).
- The hospital costs of patients with and of those without confusion were compared.
- The researchers surveyed people with confusion who had been patients in hospital and their families to see what was important to them.
From the research publications, they found that there is overlap between the conditions that cause confusion and there is no agreement on how to test for and define these conditions.
The analysis showed that patients with confusion had an overall higher cost for their hospital admission than patients without confusion; however, this was because they stayed in hospital longer. Their daily cost was lower.
When surveyed, patients and their families told the research team that they expect the patient to leave the hospital in the same or a better condition than they were in on admission. Failing that, they expect patients to have a satisfactory experience of their hospital stay.
These findings will be used to inform the development of a standardised management plan to improve the identified outcomes and, therefore, the quality of care. This will be evaluated in a future study.