Hospital-acquired complications in a randomized controlled clinical trial of a geriatric consultation team

JAMA. 1987 May 1;257(17):2313-7.


As part of a controlled clinical trial of a geriatric consultation team (GCT), we investigated whether a GCT could affect the incidence of hospital-acquired complications in elderly patients. One hundred eighty-five patients, aged 75 years and older, were randomized into an intervention (N = 92) and a control (N = 93) group. Members of the intervention group received a GCT consultation and were routinely followed up throughout their hospitalization. The incidence of hospital-acquired complications for the entire study population was 38%. The type and rate of hospital-acquired complications in the intervention and control groups were not significantly different. Functional status on admission and admission to the psychiatry service were predictive for the occurrence of a hospital-acquired complication. In a broadly selected population such as this, the intensity of care available through a GCT was unable to reduce the occurrence of hospital-acquired complications. However, since this is only one aspect of a GCT function, and others may be of great importance, such aspects, and more targeted populations, must be evaluated before final conclusions can be reached about GCT efficiency.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Geriatrics*
  • Hospitalization*
  • Hospitals, Veterans
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • North Carolina
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Random Allocation
  • Referral and Consultation