Characteristics of Patients Referred for Assessment of Decision-Making Capacity in the Acute Medical Setting of an Outer-Metropolitan Hospital – A Retrospective Case Series.
39(1) Australasian Journal of Ageing, e49-e54, Doi.org/10.1111/ajag.12693
14 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2019 Last revised: 17 Mar 2020
Date Written: June 28, 2019
Objective: To identify characteristics of older people referred for assessment of decision‐making capacity in the acute hospital setting.
Methods: A retrospective chart audit was undertaken for 98 consecutive medical inpatients referred for capacity assessments between February 2015 and August 2017 in an outer‐metropolitan hospital. The data were analysed using descriptive and uni-variate analysis.
Results: In this case series, 56% of patients had a diagnosis of dementia. Social isolation was common; 70% were not presently married, and 63% had no community services. For 90% of patients, the referral was to determine the person's capacity to make their own accommodation decisions—usually to return home on discharge. Of those with impaired capacity, 54% were discharged to residential aged care, whilst most who retained capacity were discharged home (73%). Those with impaired capacity were more likely to have a diagnosis of dementia and a prolonged length of stay (both P < 0.001).
Keywords: decision-making, dementia, geriatrics, length of stay
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation