Dutch emergency physicians insufficiently educated in geriatric emergency medicine: results of a nationwide survey
SourceAge and Ageing, 50, 6, (2021), pp. 1997-2003
Article / Letter to editor
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Age and Ageing
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
BACKGROUND: Emergency physicians (EPs) provide care to older adults with complex health problems. Treating these patients is challenging for many EPs, which might originate from modest geriatric education. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to assess EPs' self-perceived needs regarding geriatric emergency medicine (GEM) education, factors determining these needs and the utilization of this education. Our secondary aim was to assess emergency department (ED) managers' view and support for GEM education. METHODS: All EPs and ED managers in the Netherlands received a survey by e-mail. The questionnaires focused on EPs' needs in GEM education, EPs' utilization of GEM education and managerial support for GEM education. We used descriptive statistics to analyse needs, utilization of- and support for GEM education. Regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with EPs' need for GEM education. RESULTS: EPs reported to need better training in diagnosing, treating and communicating with older adults. Seventy percent of EPs reported no GEM education program in their hospital, and 83% reported no utilization of GEM education outside their hospital. EPs working in EDs with a possibility for geriatric consultation, and EPs aware of actual GEM education programs, had lower educational needs. Of responding managers, 86.2% reported the care for older adults as an important topic; lack of finances and time were obstacles to provide GEM education for EPs. CONCLUSION: EPs in the Netherlands feel insufficiently educated to treat older adults. ED managers largely recognize this educational challenge. This nationwide survey underlines the need to prioritize GEM education for EPs.
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