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JAGS Abstracts - February 2013


Annals of Long-Term Care: Clinical Care and Aging. 2013;21(2):47-48.

Effect of Forced Transitions on the Most Functionally Impaired Nursing Home Residents

Kali S. Thomas, PhD • David Dosa, MD • Kathryn Hyer, PhD, MPP • Lisa M. Brown, PhD

Shailender Swaminathan, PhD • Zhanlian Feng, PhD • Vincent Mor, PhD

OBJECTIVES: To examine the hospitalization rate and mortality associated with forced mass transfer of nursing home (NH) residents with the highest levels of functional impairment.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: One hundred nineteen Texas and Louisiana NHs identified as being at risk for evacuation for Hurricane Gustav.

Participants: Six thousand four hundred sixty-four long-stay residents residing in at-risk NHs for at least three consecutive months before landfall of Hurricane Gustav.

MEASUREMENTS: Using Medicare claims and instrumental variable analysis, the mortality (death at 30 and 90 days) and hospitalization rates (at 30 and 90 days) of the most functionally impaired long-stay residents who were evacuated for Hurricane Gustav were compared with those of the most functionally impaired residents who did not evacuate.

RESULTS: The effect of evacuation was associated with 8% more hospitalizations by 30 and 90 days for the most functionally impaired residents. Evacuation was not significantly related to mortality. 

CONCLUSION: The most functionally impaired NH residents experience more hospitalizations but not mortality as a consequence of forced mass transfer. With the inevitability of NH evacuations for many different reasons, harm mitigation strategies focused on the most impaired residents are needed. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012;60(10):1895-1900.

Changes in Activities of Daily Living, Nutrient Intake, and Systemic Inflammation in Elderly Adults Receiving Recuperative Care 

Richard A. Dennis, PhD • Larry E. Johnson, MD, PhD • Paula K. Roberson, PhD • Muhannad Heif, MD • Melinda M. Bopp, BS • Kimberly K. Garner, MD • Kalpana P. Padala, MD, MS • Prasad R. Padala, MD, MS • Patricia M. Dubbert, PhD • Dennis H. Sullivan, MD

OBJECTIVES: To determine the relationships between physical function, systemic inflammation, and nutrient intake in elderly adults who are deconditioned or recovering from medical illness.

DESIGN: Prospective observational study.

SETTING: Recuperative care and rehabilitation setting of a Veterans Affairs hospital. 

PARTICIPANTS: Older adults assessed to be in need of and likely to benefit from specialized inpatient care (N=336, aged 78.9 ± 7.5, median length of stay 24 days). 

MEASUREMENTS: Functional assessments and plasma analyses for albumins and inflammatory markers were performed at admission and discharge. Complete nutrient intake assessments were performed daily. Katz (independence in activities of daily living) and walking endurance (distance capability and summation of need for assistive device and human help) scores were based on direct observation and provider query. Data were analyzed using least-squares and logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS: Changes in physical function between admission and discharge were positively correlated with change in nutrient intake and inversely correlated with inflammation at admission and its change. Participants in the upper quartile of change for nutrient intake (particularly improved protein intake) were two to three times as likely to experience a clinically significant change in functional status during the hospitalization. Similarly, the odds of experiencing an improvement in physical function were two to four times as great for participants whose C-reactive protein levels declined as for those whose levels increased. These relationships remained significant after controlling for age, length of stay, and other baseline indicators of health status.

CONCLUSION: Protein intake and inflammation are significantly correlated with functional recovery for aging individuals undergoing recuperative care and rehabilitation. Future studies should investigate whether combined interventions that target these factors improve recovery during hospitalization for this population. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012;60(12):2246-2253.

Tools to Detect Delirium Superimposed on Dementia: A Systematic Review

Alessandro Morandi, MD, MPH • Jessica McCurly, MS • Eduard E. Vasilevskis, MD • Donna M. Fick, PhD • Giuseppe Bellelli, MD • Patricia Lee, MLS • James C. Jackson, PsyD • Susan D. Shenkin, MRCP, MSc • Marco Trabucchi, MD John Schnelle, PhD • Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH • Wesley E. Ely, MD, MPH • Alasdair MacLullich, MRCP, PhD

OBJECTIVES: To identify valid tools to diagnose delirium superimposed on dementia.

DESIGN: Systematic review of studies of delirium tools that explicitly included individuals with dementia.

SETTING: Hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:Studies were included if delirium assessment tools were validated against standard criteria, and the presence of dementia was assessed according to standard criteria that used validated instruments.

MEASUREMENTS: PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases were searched for articles in English published between January 1960 and January 2012.

RESULTS: Nine studies fulfilled the selection criteria. Of 1,569 participants, 401 had dementia, and 50 had delirium superimposed on dementia. Six delirium tools were evaluated. One study using the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) with 85% of participants with dementia had high specificity (96–100%) and moderate sensitivity (77%). Two intensive care unit studies that used the CAM for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) reported 100% sensitivity and specificity for delirium in 23 individuals with dementia. One study using electroencephalography reported sensitivity of 67% and specificity of 91% in a population with a 100% prevalence of dementia. No studies examined potential effects of dementia severity or subtype on diagnostic accuracy.

CONCLUSION: The evidence base on tools for detection of delirium superimposed on dementia is limited, although some existing tools show promise. Further studies of existing or refined tools with larger samples and more detailed characterization of dementia are required to address the identification of delirium superimposed on dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012;60(11):2005-2013.

Influence of Hospice on Nursing Home Residents With Advanced Dementia Who Received Medicare-Skilled Nursing Facility Care Near the End of Life

Susan C. Miller, PhD • Julie C. Lima, PhD • Susan L. Mitchell, MD

OBJECTIVES: To examine differences in outcomes according to hospice status of skilled nursing facility (SNF) care recipients.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort.

SETTING: Three thousand three hundred fifty-three U.S. nursing homes (NHs).

PARTICIPANTS: Four thousand three hundred forty-four persons with advanced dementia who died in NHs in 2006 and received SNF care within 90 days of death were studied, 1,086 of these also received hospice before death: 705 after SNF care, and 381 concurrent with SNF care.

MEASUREMENTS: Treatments, persistent pain and dyspnea, and hospital death. 

RESULTS: Decedents with any hospice received fewer medications, injections, feeding tubes, intravenous fluids, and therapy services and more hypnotics than those without hospice (all P<.001). Decedents with hospice after SNF care received fewer antipsychotics and those with hospice concurrent with SNF care received more antipsychotics than those without (all P<.001). Multivariate logistic regressions showed that decedents with hospice after SNF had lower likelihood of persistent dyspnea (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=.63, 95% confidence interval [CI]=.45–0.87) and hospital death (AOR=.02; 95% CI= .01, .07) than those without hospice. Decedents with hospice concurrent with SNF care had a higher likelihood of persistent pain (AOR=1.65, 95% CI=1.23, 2.19) and a lower likelihood of hospital death (AOR=.13, 95% CI=.07, .26) than those without hospice.

CONCLUSION: Residents dying with advanced dementia who received SNF care in the last 90 days of life had fewer aggressive treatments and lower odds of hospital death if they also received hospice care at any point during that time. Associations between hospice and persistent pain or dyspnea differed according to whether hospice care was received concurrent with or after SNF care. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012;60(11):2035-2041.

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