In-home preventive comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) reduces mortality--a randomized controlled trial

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012 Nov-Dec;55(3):639-44. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.06.012. Epub 2012 Jul 11.


The study should prove the effectiveness of a preventive in-home CGA regarding mortality and time able to stay in the community. We performed a randomized controlled trial with a mean follow-up of 6.2 years. The home visits were performed in Germany. 1620 community-living persons aged 70 years and older (n=630 intervention; 990 controls) from 20 general practitioner surgeries were visited. The intervention was performed by trained medical students it included a CGA using the STEP-tool (standardized assessment of elderly people in primary care in Europe; a combination of a structured questionnaire and a structured physical examination) and additional tests, followed by recommendations for the general practitioner. The controls received usual general practitioner care. Follow-up visit was made at mean 6.2 years after randomization. The main outcome parameters were mortality and time able to stay at home. Follow-up-rate was 75%. In COX-regression-analyses, a 20% reduction of mortality and a 22% lower risk of nursing-home admission were shown in the intervention group at the follow up. Despite the main limitations of the study (general practitioners volunteered to participate, follow-up-rate <80%, possible performance of geriatric assessments also in the control group, intervention group had poorer health status than the control group, adherence to recommendations from the assessment was not verified) we conclude that the implementation of a preventive geriatric assessment into primary care in Germany seems to be reasonable.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Germany
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data
  • House Calls / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Preventive Health Services / methods
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires