Development of a Core Outcome Set for research studies with older adults in the Emergency Department

The number of people over the age of 65 is increasing. This change in the population will continue to put pressure on healthcare services including Emergency Services into the coming decades as older adults are most frequent Emergency Department (ED) attendees.

Older adults are at risk of health decline and functional decline after an ED visit and many older adults report negative experiences in the ED such as long waiting times and poor communication from staff.
More research is needed to improve care and treatment of older adults in the Emergency Department.

Studies that aim to improve care and treatment measure how effective a treatment is at improving various ‘outcomes’.
Outcomes can focus on the patient experience (e.g. how satisfied a patient is with their care) or on the health condition (e.g. measuring the impact of a treatment on pain) or on the hospital service (e.g. how long people spend waiting in the ED).

When different research studies measure different outcomes it is difficult to compare studies and determine if a treatment is effective or not.
In this study we want to work with older adults, their families and / or caregivers, healthcare staff, researchers and other stakeholders to reach agreement on what outcomes should be measured in all studies involving older adults in the Emergency Department.

To do this we will first draw together a long list of all potential outcomes.
We will then work collaboratively with patients and families to discuss what outcomes matter to them.

Finally, we will work through a series of questionnaires with healthcare workers, policy makers, researchers and patients to reach consensus on what outcomes should be measured in future studies.

This is a well established way of improving research and it has been used very successfully in other areas such as cancer research.

Award Date
01 July 2022
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Katie Robinson
Host Institution
University of Limerick
Investigator Led Projects