Read Full Text for Free: Geriatric assessment-guided care processes for older adults: A Delphi consensus of geriatric oncology experts
Journal: Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Year Published: 2015
Ranked 9th on our 2014-2019 list of the 50 most influential articles 1
Article overview for OT practitioners
This article is seeking to establish a consensus among a panel of expert oncologists. These oncologists are considering whether they should include geratric assessments (GAs) during the care of their older cancer patients—and, if so, what those assessments should include.
They posit that GAs are particularly important for older cancer patients, for two reasons:
- Older cancer patients are at increased risk for adverse outcomes in cancer treatment
- Older cancer patients are also at increased risk for serious toxicities from the cancer treatments themselves
Unsurprisingly, the panel arrived at a consensus that all cancer patients aged ≥75 years and (as well as those who are younger with “age-related health concerns”) should undergo GAs, and that the following factors should be measured in these assessments:
- Physical performance
- Psychological status
- Social support
In the treatment algorithm established by the article, “The Algorithm of Geriatric Assessment Guided Processes,” OT was specifically mentioned to address deficits in ADLs and iADLS. OT was also mentioned to address “objective physical performance.”
OT was not explicitly mentioned to address cognition, but the Mini Mental State Exam was one of the recommended assessments—and OTs are equipped to administer this assessment.
About the expert panel
The expert panel consisted of 30 physicians, most of whom were practicing oncologists or geriatricians. A few were oncology researchers. The members of this panel all attended NIH-funded U13 or Cancer and Aging Research Group conferences.
How consensus was established
In this study, a three-round Delphi process was performed. The Delphi method is a flexible iterative survey process, and it is often used to transform individual opinions into group consensuses. It is frequently used to bring clarity on issues where exact solutions are unknown.
This study’s three-round Delphi process consisted of brainstorming, narrowing down, and quantification of the opinions of these expert participants.
Here’s an example of documentation you could use in your assessment section of your notes:
The article “Geriatric assessment-guided care processes for older adults: A Delphi consensus of geriatric oncology experts” (2015) established occupational therapy intervention as a best practice for older patients who have functional deficits compounding their cancer diagnoses. In light of this patient’s functional deficits, in the following areas, ________, _________, ________, skilled occupational therapy is warranted.
This article establishes OT intervention as a best practice for older patients with cancer who have functional deficits, but more research is needed.
Expert opinion is at the bottom of the research hierarchy pyramid, meaning it is a foundational step in the direction of more research, but more research in needed to establish details about what specific types of OT interventions will benefit these patients the most.
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