Geriatric syndromes in elderly patients admitted to an oncology-acute care for elders unit

Kellie L. Flood, Maria B. Carroll, Cyndi V. Le, Linda Ball, Debbie A. Esker, David B. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Purpose: The goal of this study was to characterize an elderly population admitted to a novel Oncology-Acute Care for Elders (OACE) unit, determine the prevalence of functional dependencies and geriatric syndromes, and examine their suitability for an interdisciplinary model of care. Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 119 patients age 65 years or older who had a primary oncologic or hematologic diagnosis and were admitted to the OACE Unit. Standard geriatric screens were administered to assess mood, functional, and cognitive status. Demographic and medical data were compiled by review of patients' medical records. Results: The mean age of the patients was 74.1 years (standard deviation, 5.9 years). The sample was predominantly white, of equal sex, had limitations in instrumental and basic activities of daily living, and a mean length of stay of 6 days. Geriatric syndromes detected by the OACE interdisciplinary team included cognitive impairment (dementia and/or delirium), depression, weight loss, and use of high-risk medications. Adverse events such as falls, restraint use, and pressure sores were rare. Conclusion: In this descriptive study, many older cancer patients were found to have geriatric syndromes by the OACE team and these patients were considered appropriate for an interdisciplinary model of care. Additional studies are needed to compare the outcomes of hospitalized older oncology patients receiving an OACE intervention with those patients receiving usual care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2298-2303
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number15
StatePublished - May 20 2006


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