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      Multimedia Education Increases Elder Knowledge of Emergency Department Care


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          Elders who utilize the emergency department (ED) may have little prospective knowledge of appropriate expectations during an ED encounter. Improving elder orientation to ED expectations is important for satisfaction and health education. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a multi-media education intervention as a method for informing independently living elders about ED care. The program delivered messages categorically as, the number of tests, providers, decisions and disposition decision making.


          Interventional trial of representative elders over 59 years of age comparing pre and post multimedia program exposure. A brief (0.3 hour) video that chronicled the key events after a hypothetical 911 call for chest pain was shown. The video used a clinical narrator, 15 ED health care providers, and 2 professional actors for the patient and spouse. Pre- and post-video tests results were obtained with audience response technology (ART) assessed learning using a 4 point Likert scale.


          Valid data from 142 participants were analyzed pre to post rankings (Wilcoxon signed-rank tests). The following four learning objectives showed significant improvements: number of tests expected [median differences on a 4-point Likert scale with 95% confidence intervals: 0.50 (0.00, 1.00)]; number of providers expected 1.0 (1.00, 1.50); communications 1.0 (1.00, 1.50); and pre-hospital medical treatment 0.50 (0.00, 1.00). Elders (96%) judged the intervention as improving their ability to cope with an ED encounter.


          A short video with graphic side-bar information is an effective educational strategy to improve elder understanding of expectations during a hypothetical ED encounter following calling 911.

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          Most cited references26

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          Older patients in the emergency department: a review.

          Older patients account for up to a quarter of all emergency department (ED) visits. Atypical clinical presentation of illness, a high prevalence of cognitive disorders, and the presence of multiple comorbidities complicate their evaluation and management. Increased frailty, delayed diagnosis, and greater illness severity contribute to a higher risk of adverse outcomes. This article will review the most common conditions encountered in older patients, including delirium, dementia, falls, and polypharmacy, and suggest simple and efficient strategies for their evaluation and management. It will discuss age-related changes in the signs and symptoms of acute coronary events, abdominal pain, and infection, examine the yield of different diagnostic approaches in this population, and list the underlying medical problems present in half of all "social" admission cases. Complete geriatric assessments are time consuming and beyond the scope of most EDs. We propose a strategy based on the targeting of high-risk patients and provide examples of simple and efficient tools that are appropriate for ED use. Copyright (c) 2010 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Return to the emergency department among elders: patterns and predictors.

            1) To describe the pattern of return visits to the emergency department (ED) among elders over the six months following an index visit; 2) to identify the predictors of early return (within 30 days) and frequent return (three or more return visits in six months); and 3) to evaluate a newly developed screening tool for functional decline, Identification of Seniors At Risk (ISAR), with regard to its ability to predict return visits. Subjects were patients aged 65 years or more who visited the EDs of four Canadian hospitals during the weekday shift over a three-month recruitment period. Excluded were patients who: could not be interviewed, due either to their medical conditions or to cognitive impairment, and no other informant was available; refused linkage of study data; or were admitted to hospital at the initial (index) visit. Measures made at the index ED visit included: 27 self-report screening questions on social, physical, and mental risk factors, medical history, use of hospital services, medications, and alcohol. Six of these questions comprised the ISAR scale. Return visits and diagnoses during the six months after the index visit were abstracted from the utilization database. Among 1,122 patients released from the ED, 492 (43.9%) made one or more return visits; 216 (19.3%) returned early and 84 (7.5%) returned frequently. Earlier returns were more likely than later returns to be for the same diagnosis (p = 0.003). Using logistic regression, hospitalization during the previous six months, feeling depressed, and certain diagnoses predicted both early and frequent returns. Also, a history of heart disease, having ever been married, and not drinking alcohol daily predicted early return; a history of diabetes, a recent ED visit, and lack of support predicted frequent use. In the first month after an ED visit, return rates are highest and are more likely to be for the same diagnosis. Both medical and social factors predict early and frequent returns to the ED; patients at increased risk of return can be quickly identified with a short, self-report questionnaire. The ISAR screening tool, developed to identify patients at increased risk of functional decline, can also identify patients who are more likely to return to the ED.
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              A systematic review of interventions to improve outcomes for elders discharged from the emergency department.

              To evaluate the evidence for interventions designed to improve outcomes for elders discharged from the emergency department (ED). The study was a systematic review of English-language articles indexed in MEDLINE and CINAHL (1966-2005) with 1) key words "geriatric," "older adults," or "seniors," or 2) Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms "Geriatrics" or "Health Services for the Aged" AND key word "emergency," or 3) MeSH terms "Emergencies," "Emergency Service, Hospital," or "Emergency Treatment." Bibliographies of the retrieved articles were reviewed for additional references, and the authors consulted with content experts to identify relevant unpublished work. Patients of interest were community-dwelling elder patients discharged home from the ED. Data were abstracted from selected articles by the authors. Studies with interventions limited to patients with a single presentation or diagnosis (falls, delirium, etc.) or delivered only to patients who would have otherwise been hospitalized were not included. Of 669 citations, 27 studies (reported in 33 articles) met study criteria and were reviewed; six randomized controlled trials (RCTs), two nonrandomized clinical trials, and 19 observational studies or program descriptions. Three of four RCTs designed to measure functional outcomes showed a reduction in functional decline in the intervention group. The trials that resulted in functional benefits enrolled high-risk patients and included geriatric nursing assessment and home-based services as part of the intervention. Results of trials to decrease health service utilization rates following an ED visit were mixed. A significant number of programs to improve outcomes for elders discharged from the ED exist, but few have been systematically examined. Development of interventions to improve the care of elder patients following ED visits requires further research into system and patient-centered factors that impact health care delivery in this situation.

                Author and article information

                West J Emerg Med
                West J Emerg Med
                Western Journal of Emergency Medicine
                Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
                March 2013
                : 14
                : 2
                : 132-136
                [* ]Penn State College of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania
                []JPL Integrated Communications, Inc., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
                []Penn State College of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Hershey, Pennsylvania
                Author notes

                Supervising Section Editor: Teresita Hogan, MD

                Full text available through open access at http://escholarship.org/uc/uciem_westjem

                Address for Correspondence: Thomas E. Terndrup, MD, 500 University Drive, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033. Email: tterndrup@ 123456hmc.psu.edu .
                Copyright © 2013 the authors.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution License, which permits its use in any digital medium, provided the original work is properly cited and not altered. For details, please refer to http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/. Authors grant Western Journal of Emergency Medicine a nonexclusive license to publish the manuscript.

                Brief Research Report

                Emergency medicine & Trauma
                Emergency medicine & Trauma


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