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Detecting Acute Deterioration in Older Adults Living in Residential Aged Care: A Scoping Review

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To explore models, processes, or tools implemented in residential aged care (RAC) to support registered nurses (RNs) to identify and respond to the acute deterioration of residents.

      Design

      Scoping literature review of English Language articles published in peer reviewed journals.

      Settings and Participants

      Studies were conducted in RAC facilities providing long-term 24-hour medical, nursing, and social care for people age 65 years or older with age-related disability.

      Methods

      We completed a MESH term and key word search of MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Included studies had (1) part of the intervention based in RAC; (2) had a direct impact on RAC day to day practice; and (3) contained or provided access to the detail of the intervention. Data was charted by author, date, country, study design and the components, genesis, and efficacy of the methods used to identify and respond to acute deterioration.

      Results

      We found 46 studies detailing models of care, clinical patterns of acute deterioration, and deterioration detection tools. It was not possible to determine which element of the models care had the greatest impact on RN decision making. The clinical patterns of acute deterioration painted a picture of acute deterioration in the frail. There was limited evidence to support the use of existing deterioration detection tools in the RAC population.

      Conclusion and Implications

      We found no straight forward systematic method to support RAC RNs to identify and respond to the acute deterioration of residents. This is an important practice gap. The clinical pattern of acute deterioration described in the literature has the potential to be used for the development of a tool to support RAC RNs to identify and respond to the acute deterioration of residents.

      Keywords

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