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Care of frail and older adults: A content analysis of paramedic operational clinical practice guidelines

Harris, W ORCID: 0000-0001-8864-7228, Stirling, C ORCID: 0000-0003-2723-8302, Williams, A-M ORCID: 0000-0002-1545-174X and Lucas, P ORCID: 0000-0001-6949-9207 2021 , 'Care of frail and older adults: A content analysis of paramedic operational clinical practice guidelines' , International Emergency Nursing, vol. 56 , pp. 1-8 , doi: 10.1016/j.ienj.2021.101007.

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Introduction:Frailty rates are increasing with population ageing. In paramedicine, Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) are essential documents that support decision making, yet little evidence exists regarding the support CPGs provide paramedics in the care of frail and older adults.Aim:To investigate how CPGs support paramedics’ care of frail and older adults.Methods:CPGs from nine Australasian paramedic services were collected in 2019. Content analysis was used to explore two hundred and thirty-seven individual CPGs for decision support information regarding frail and older adults.Results:Evidence-based content relating to older adults was sparse compared to paediatric content. Two overarching decision support domains were identified, patient assessment and management. Inconsistent age descriptors were widespread, particularly in pharmacological guidelines. Five service providers’ CPGs contained validated assessment instruments for use with older adults.Conclusion:Decision support documentation regarding frail and older adults varies across Australasian paramedic services. Frailty and older adult specific CPGs, and validated assessment instruments suitable to the paramedicine environment could improve paramedic decision making and minimise patient risk. A collaborative approach encompassing service providers and educational institutions is crucial to develop consistent, evidence-based CPGs relevant to older adults.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Harris, W and Stirling, C and Williams, A-M and Lucas, P
Keywords: frailty, geriatrics, older adults, paramedicine
Journal or Publication Title: International Emergency Nursing
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
ISSN: 1755-599X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.ienj.2021.101007
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© 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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