Elite Research Scholarships

Recognition, reporting and management of acutely ill older people with underlying chronic disease/s

Recognition, reporting and management of acutely ill older people with underlying chronic disease/s

Recent national initiatives suggest that there will be political imperatives driving improvements in the early recognition and treatment of patients at risk of physical deterioration. Work aimed at improving outcomes for these patients is underway at RHH. This study will focus on the increasing number of older people admitted to acute care facilities that have one or more underlying chronic diseases. The admission of persons over 65yrs to acute care is commonly due to an exacerbation of chronic disease or may be for a related/unrelated illness or surgery. Regardless of the reason for admission, the presence of chronic disease will complicate their course of observation and treatment.

Early warning scores, calculated from vital signs, are used within acute care environments to trigger the review and management of the deteriorating patient through such avenues as the medical emergency team (MET). This study aims to explore how older people with underlying chronic disease/s present a deteriorating physiological state that requires rapid intervention. How the person’s physical deterioration is recognised, reported and managed.

The study will take a mixed methods approach using quantitative methods to analyse large numbers of vital sign sets that will plot courses of deterioration. Qualitative data will be collected through observation and interviews to provide a rich description of the holistic care of the person and their family and/or carers from a nursing perspective.

More Information: http://www.healthsci.utas.edu.au/tson/index.html
Contact: Professor Mary FitzGerald
M.Fitzgerald@utas.edu.au
Phone: 03 6222 7558