Factors affecting the quality of care for older adults in emergency departments: an integrative research review




Savage, Sarah

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Although older adults are the largest growing group of emergency patients, most emergency departments are ill prepared to receive, assess, and treat the complex needs of this group (Leah & Adams, 2010; Nolan, 2009; Roethler, Adelman & Parsons, 2011). This integrative literature review critically explores seniors‟ emergency department experiences and proposes evidence informed guidelines to improve their care. A systematic approach and a critical social lens are used to identify three interrelated and interacting themes (seniors themselves, staff caring for seniors in the emergency department, and care and process mismatch). These themes and associated factors provide a framework for both evidenced informed clinical practice guidelines and initiatives to improve seniors care. Recommendations for improved care include consistent assessment of patients‟ mental status; support and empowerment of patients and families; senior – specific training for ED staff; and cultural and process change initiatives that incorporate seniors‟ care into emergency department systems.



factors, quality of care, older adults, emergency department, emergency