Geriatrics

Patient tailored treatment is one of the major objectives of geriatric medicine. The Department of Geriatrics has developed two research units respectively concerned with Tailored Care in Frail Older Persons and Quality of Drug Utilisation in Older Persons as aspects which necessitate individualized and patient tailored approach.

These research units, although developed and organized separately, offer a possibility of a mutual complementary approach. Therefore the Department endeavours to develop a synergism between these research units, whether through conjoint research projects or the close cooperation of independent entities.

Research Groups

Tailored Care in Frail Older Persons - Research unit

Frail older persons are dependent in many aspects of daily life and also in expressing their concerns. In order to achieve better tailored care, it takes professional healthcare providers to actively get to know the patient in all his/her strengths and needs. Our research unit studies which tools can help clinicians to make up treatment plans and decisions tailored to the individual patient. Moreover, we focus on symptom assessment and management and on existential concerns of frail older persons. 

Reflective practice and inter-professional collaboration are essential for healthcare providers to realise their professional role as a patient advocate. Healthcare providers need to connect with the patient as a person embedded in a social reality to fully appreciate what matters to them. They also need to communicate this information to the team to make up an integrated treatment plan. Our research unit studies the lived experiences of older persons and their relatives; (educational) initiatives to improve patient-centred conversations, inter-professional collaboration and ethical climate in geriatric care.

Quality of Drug Utilisation in Older Persons (QDU-OP) - Research Unit 

The QDU-OA focuses on drug utilisation patterns in older patients, screening to identify older patients at risk of drug-related problems, the assessment and indicators of inappropriate prescribing, the relationship between drug utilisation and medical needs, and multidisciplinary medical staff organisation and implementation of  improved prescribing policies in older people.

In addition, this research stream includes the global assessment of patients (clinical and functional parameters) and the integration of skills from different health care professions to care for older people with complex medical needs. Moreover, the aim is to evaluate to what degree prescribing is tailored to patients’ genuine medical needs; to assess how the organisational characteristics of healthcare institutions can influence the relationship between drug utilisation and medical needs; to employ indicators to identify prescribing practices that diverge from national and regional guidelines.

The department of Geriatrics actively participates in European projects in cooperation with different international partners. 

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