Background Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment is an evidence based multi-dimensional, inter-disciplinary, diagnostic process to determine the medical, psychological, and functional capabilities of a frail older person in order to develop a co-ordinated and integrated plan for treatment and long term follow up.1
Research shows simulation promotes learner acquisition and maintenance of clinical knowledge, attitudes, and skills2 but there remains a dearth of simulation within geriatrics education.
Traditionally the concept of CGA is taught in small groups with students developing skills experientially in the ward environment, with little supervisor input.
We introduced a simulation session in geriatrics to determine if it is an acceptable and feasible method of introducing the concept of CGA.
Methodology A mock ward was set up involving 4 simulated patients covering different topics: urinary continence, elder abuse, delirium and communication difficulties. Patients were selected from the University of Nottingham Medical school trained simulated patient data base. A CGA information podcast was shown to students prior to the event and then they participated in a simulated ward based session reviewing each patient and developing a management plan. A debrief followed where management plans were discussed allowing any misconceptions of knowledge from the students to be addressed. The students were then asked to rate the session.
Results so far 9 out of 11 students recorded 5/5 on a Likert scale for feeling it improved their knowledge around CGA. 11/11 felt the session better prepared them to assess and manage older patients.
Potential impact The early evaluations of this approach seem to indicate that this is an acceptable and feasible method of teaching the concept of CGA. Further development and evaluation work is now required with the idea of introducing inter-professional learning (both nursing and allied health professional), to provide an experience that mirrors the reality of geriatric medicine.
Stuck AE, Siu AL, Wieland GD, et al. Comprehensive geriatric assessment: a meta-analysis of controlled trials. Lancet 1993;342:1032–1036
Fisher JM, Walker RW. A new age approach to an age old problem: using simulation to teach geriatric medicine to medical students. Age Ageing 2014;43(3):424–428
- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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