What care transition outcomes are important to caregivers of people with dementia following an emergency department visit?
Cameron Gettel, M.D., HHS
New Haven, CT - United States
People living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, visit the emergency department at higher rates than those without dementia. After discharge, the transition from emergency medical care back to everyday medical care may represent a challenging time for people with dementia and their caregivers. For instance, research shows that people with dementia may experience functional decline and repeated visits to the emergency department after an initial emergency department visit. Despite the importance of a successful transitionto everyday medical care following an emergency department visit, little is known about what makes a transition successful.
Dr. Cameron Gettel and colleagues will conduct a study to develop and validate the novel Caregiver-reported Outcome Measure for Emergency Care Transitions (COMET) tool and assess it across diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic status populations. This novel measure will identify care transition outcomes that are meaningful to caregivers of people with dementia. The researchers will conduct interviews with older individuals and their caregivers recruited from emergency departments in New Haven, CT, to inform the development of the COMET tool. Then, they will test its feasibility and validity among caregivers of people with dementia who were recently discharged from an emergency department. Finally, the team will investigate the association between COMET tool scores and rates of emergency department return visits for people with dementia.
These findings may provide valuable information to clinicians treating people with dementia in emergency departments and help them discuss expected outcomes with caregivers of these individuals. In addition, this work will lay the foundation for future clinical trials of emergency department-based interventions to improve patient- and caregiver-reported outcomes as captured by the COMET tool.
The ARCOM Grant Program was developed jointly with Leveraging an Interdisciplinary Consortium to Improve Care and Outcomes for Persons Living With Alzheimer’s and Dementia (LINC-AD).
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