Effect of Geriatric Comanagement in Older Patients Undergoing Surgery for Gastrointestinal Cancer: A Retrospective, Before-and-After Study



      To determine the effect of geriatric comanagement on clinical outcomes of older patients undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal cancer.


      This was a single-center, nonrandomized, before-and-after study, which compared patient outcomes before and after the implementation of geriatric comanagement in an oncological surgery division.

      Setting and Participants

      The study included patients aged 70 or older, who were treated for a gastrointestinal cancer at the Oncological Surgery Division of the Policlinico San Martino Hospital (Genoa, Italy). Patients from the control group were treated between January 2015 and October 2018, and the patients who received geriatric comanagement during their stay in the surgical ward were treated between November 2018 and December 2019.


      Patients from both groups received a preoperative comprehensive geriatric assessment in the preoperative phase and were followed according to the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery model in the perioperative period. In the geriatric comanagement group, targeted interventions during daily geriatrician-led ward rounds were performed. Inverse probability weighting was used to adjust estimates for potential baseline confounders.


      A total of 207 patients were included: 107 in the control group and 90 who received geriatric comanagement. Overall, patients from both groups had similar demographic and clinical characteristics with a median [interquartile range (IQR)] age of 80.0 (77.0, 84.0) years and a pre-frail phenotype [median (IQR) 40-item Frailty Index 0.15 (0.10, 0.26)]. In the geriatric comanagement group, a significant reduction in grade I–V complications (adjusted odds ratio 0.29; 95% CI 0.21–0.40); P < .001) and in 1-year readmissions (adjusted hazard ratio 0.53; 95% CI 0.28–0.98; P < .044) was observed. No difference between the 2 groups in terms of 1-year mortality was detected.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Our study supports the implementation of geriatric comanagement in the care of older patients undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal cancer.


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