Reducing hospital bed use by frail older people: Results from a systematic review of the literature


Philp I, Mills KA, Long JF, Thanvi B & Ghosh K (2013) Reducing hospital bed use by frail older people: Results from a systematic review of the literature. International Journal of Integrated Care, 13 (4).

Introduction Numerous studies have been conducted in developed countries to evaluate the impact of interventions designed to reduce hospital admissions or length of stay amongst frail older people. In this study we have undertaken a systematic review of the recent international literature (2007-present) to help improve our understanding about the impact of these interventions. Methods We systematically searched the following databases: PubMed / Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, BioMed Central, Kings Fund library. Studies were limited to publications from the period 2007-present and a total of 514 studies were identified. Results A total of 48 studies were included for full review consisting of 11 meta-analyses, 9 systematic reviews, 5 structured literature reviews, 8 randomised controlled trials and 15 other studies. We classified interventions into those which aimed to prevent admission, interventions in hospital, and those which aimed to support early discharge. Conclusions Reducing unnecessary use of acute hospital beds by older people requires an integrated approach across hospital and community settings. A stronger evidence base has emerged in recent years about a broad range of interventions which may be effective. Local agencies need to work together to implement these interventions to create a sustainable healthcare system for older people.

older people; hospital bed use; admissions avoidance;

International Journal of Integrated Care: Volume 13, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2013
Publication date online05/12/2013
Date accepted by journal04/09/2013