The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of common geriatric conditions in a tertiary medical center. We conducted a cross-sectional, hospital-wide survey of 455 inpatients, aged 65 and older, from 24 medical and surgical units of a 2200-bed urban academic medical center in Taiwan. Patients were screened in face-to-face interviews for 15 geriatric conditions. The prevalence of geriatric conditions was determined and compared by medical versus surgical services. Our sample of participants had a mean age of 75.3 ± 6.1 years (±S.D.), range = 65–92. The prevalence of geriatric conditions ranged from 5% (pressure ulcers) to 57% (polypharmacy; taking > 5 prescriptions). The majority was visually impaired (74%) and complained of sleep disturbance during their hospital stay (58%). Prevalence rates of certain geriatric conditions differed significantly between medical and surgical units, suggesting that care should address not only common conditions but also those with higher rates on different units. Furthermore, high rates of geriatric conditions indicate strong needs for care that does not fit into traditional disease models of medicine. Care should be better targeted to address different risks for geriatric conditions of medical versus surgical geriatric inpatients in acute care settings.
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 53(1), pp.46-50