Abstract

Introduction

risk-stratifying older people accessing urgent care is a potentially useful first step to ensuring that the most vulnerable are able to access optimal care from the start of the episode. While there are many risk-stratification tools reported in the literature, few have addressed the practical issues of implementation. This review sought evidence about the feasibility of risk stratification for older people with urgent care needs.

Methods

medline was searched for papers addressing risk stratification and implementation (feasibility or evaluation or clinician acceptability). All search stages were conducted by two reviewers, and selected papers were graded for quality using the CASP tool for cohort studies. Data were summarised using descriptive statistics only.

Results

about 1872 titles of potential interest were identified, of which 1827 were excluded on title/abstract review, and a further 43 after full-text review, leaving four papers for analysis. These papers described nine tools, which took between 1 and 10 minutes to complete for most participants. No more than 52% of potentially eligible older people were actually screened using any of the tools. Little detail was reported on the clinical acceptability of the tools tested.

Discussion

the existing literature indicates that commonly used risk-stratification tools are relatively quick to use, but do not cover much more than 50% of the potential population eligible for screening in practice. Additional work is required to appreciate how tools are likely to be used, by whom, and when in order to ensure that they are acceptable to urgent care teams.

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