The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment and the multidimensional approach. A new look at the older patient with gastroenterological disorders

Alberto Pilotto, Filomena Addante, Grazia D'Onofrio, Daniele Sancarlo, Luigi Ferrucci
Best Practice & Research. Clinical Gastroenterology 2009, 23 (6): 829-37
The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is a multidimensional, usually interdisciplinary, diagnostic process intended to determine an elderly person's medical, psychosocial, and functional capacity and problems with the objective of developing an overall plan for treatment and short- and long-term follow-up. The potential usefulness of the CGA in evaluating treatment and follow-up of older patients with gastroenterological disorders is unknown. In the paper we reported the efficacy of a Multidimensional-Prognostic Index (MPI), calculated from information collected by a standardized CGA, in predicting mortality risk in older patients hospitalized with upper gastrointestinal bleeding and liver cirrhosis. Patients underwent a CGA that included six standardized scales, i.e. Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), Short-Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ), Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA), Exton-Smith Score (ESS) and Comorbity Index Rating Scale (CIRS), as well as information on medication history and cohabitation, for a total of 63 items. The MPI was calculated from the integrated total scores and expressed as MPI 1=low risk, MPI 2=moderate risk and MPI 3=severe risk of mortality. Higher MPI values were significantly associated with higher short- and long-term mortality in older patients with both upper gastrointestinal bleeding and liver cirrhosis. A close agreement was found between the estimated mortality by MPI and the observed mortality. Moreover, MPI seems to have a greater discriminatory power than organ-specific prognostic indices such as Rockall and Blatchford scores (in upper gastrointestinal bleeding patients) and Child-Plugh score (in liver cirrhosis patients). All these findings support the concept that a multidimensional approach may be appropriate for the evaluation of older patients with gastroenterological disorders, like it has been reported for patients with other pathological conditions.

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