Evaluation of a geriatric assessment unit

J.C. Gerritsen, P.C. van der Ende, Edwin Wolffensperger, René Boom

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Psychogeriatric patients are a very vulnerable group among the elderly. A relative large proportion is institutionalized. In addition, many studies point to the heavy burden on the informal carers of psychogeriatric patients, frequently leading to depression. Geriatric expertise in primary care, however, is limited. To complement this expertise, an experiment was conducted involving a geriatric assessment unit in a nursing home. An evaluation study was carried out including 96 patients, 89 of whom were looked after by informal carers. Data were collected from the unit and two ‘external controls’, both the GP and the informal carer, were interviewed before and 3 months after the intervention. The results show that, in a majority of cases, a new psychiatric or somatic diagnosis could be arrived at. Advice was given on drugs and physiotherapy and the monitoring of behaviour. The impact of the behavioural problems of patients was diminished after the intervention according to the informal carers. Moreover, the sense of competence of the informal carers was enhanced. The health status of the informal carers and the social support they received remained the same. Furthermore,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-217
Journal International journal of geriatric psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995


  • geriatric assessment
  • burden
  • evaluation
  • psychogeriatric patients


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