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Care of frail and older adults: A content analysis of paramedic operational clinical practice guidelines


Harris, W and Stirling, C and Williams, A-M and Lucas, P, Care of frail and older adults: A content analysis of paramedic operational clinical practice guidelines, International Emergency Nursing, 56 pp. 1-8. ISSN 1755-599X (2021) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ienj.2021.101007


Introduction: Frailty rates are increasing with population ageing. In paramedicine, Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) are essential documents that support decision making, yet little evidence exists regarding the support CPGs provide paramedics in the care of frail and older adults.

Aim: To investigate how CPGs support paramedics’ care of frail and older adults.

Methods: CPGs from nine Australasian paramedic services were collected in 2019. Content analysis was used to explore two hundred and thirty-seven individual CPGs for decision support information regarding frail and older adults.

Results: Evidence-based content relating to older adults was sparse compared to paediatric content. Two overarching decision support domains were identified, patient assessment and management. Inconsistent age descriptors were widespread, particularly in pharmacological guidelines. Five service providers’ CPGs contained validated assessment instruments for use with older adults.

Conclusion: Decision support documentation regarding frail and older adults varies across Australasian paramedic services. Frailty and older adult specific CPGs, and validated assessment instruments suitable to the paramedicine environment could improve paramedic decision making and minimise patient risk. A collaborative approach encompassing service providers and educational institutions is crucial to develop consistent, evidence-based CPGs relevant to older adults.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:frailty, geriatrics, older adults, paramedicine
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Paramedicine
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Harris, W (Mr Wayne Harris)
UTAS Author:Stirling, C (Professor Christine Stirling)
UTAS Author:Williams, A-M (Dr Anne-Marie Williams)
UTAS Author:Lucas, P (Dr Peter Lucas)
ID Code:144068
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Paramedicine
Deposited On:2021-04-20
Last Modified:2021-04-28

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