Scientific article
Open access

Scope of treatment and clinical-decision making in the older patient with COVID-19 infection, a European perspective

Published inEuropean geriatric medicine, vol. 14, no. 1, p. 43-50
Publication date2023-02
First online date2022-12-08

Purpose: Older patients were particularly vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease resulting in high in-hospital mortality rates during the two first waves. The aims of this study were to better characterize the management of older people presenting with COVID-19 in European hospitals and to identify national guidelines on hospital admission and ICU admission for this population.

Methods: Online survey based on a vignette of a frail older patient with Covid-19 distributed by e-mail to all members of the European Geriatric Medicine Society. The survey contained questions regarding the treatment of the vignette patient as well as general questions regarding available services. Additionally, questions on national policies and differences between the first and second wave of the pandemic were asked.

Results: Survey of 282 respondents from 28 different countries was analyzed. Responses on treatment of the patient in the vignette were similar from respondents across the 28 countries. 247 respondents (87%) would admit the patient to the hospital, in most cases to a geriatric COVID-19 ward (78%). Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was found medically inappropriate by 85% of respondents, intubation and mechanical ventilation by 91% of respondents, admission to the ICU by 82%, and ExtraCorpular Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) by 93%. Sixty percent of respondents indicated they would consult with a palliative care specialist, 56% would seek the help of a spiritual counsellor. National guidelines on admission criteria of geriatric patients to the hospital existed in 22 different European countries.

Conclusion: This pandemic has fostered the collaboration between geriatricians and palliative care specialists to improve the care for older patients with a severe disease and often an uncertain prognosis.

  • Advance care planning
  • Collaboration
  • Covid-19
  • Older patients
  • Palliative care
  • Resuscitation order
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / therapy
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care
  • Prognosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
Citation (ISO format)
VAN BRUCHEM-VISSER, Rozemarijn Lidewij et al. Scope of treatment and clinical-decision making in the older patient with COVID-19 infection, a European perspective. In: European geriatric medicine, 2023, vol. 14, n° 1, p. 43–50. doi: 10.1007/s41999-022-00721-6
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal1878-7649

Technical informations

Creation02/17/2023 11:15:00 AM
First validation02/17/2023 11:15:00 AM
Update time03/16/2023 10:39:46 AM
Status update03/16/2023 10:39:45 AM
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