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1.  Predictors of pneumococcal vaccination among older adults with pneumonia: findings from the Community Acquired Pneumonia Impact Study 
BMC Geriatrics  2010;10:44.
Background
The incidence of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) almost triples for older adults aged 65 years or older. In Canada, CAP is a leading cause of hospital admissions and mortality. Although CAP is very prevalent, complications due to CAP may be reduced with the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV). The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of pneumococcal vaccination among community-dwelling older adults with clinically diagnosed CAP.
Methods
A telephone survey was used to collect detailed information from adults aged 60 years and older with clinically diagnosed CAP. This was a community wide study with participants being recruited from all radiology clinics in one Ontario community.
Results
The most important predictors of pneumococcal vaccination among older adults included: getting an influenza vaccine within the past year (OR 14.5, 95% CI 4.27 to 49.0); at least weekly contact with a friend (OR 3.97, 95% CI 1.71 to 9.24); having one or more co-morbidities/chronic conditions (OR 3.64, 95% CI 1.60 to 8.28); being 70 years of age or older (OR 2.56, 95% CI 1.21 to 5.40); having health problems that limited physical activities (OR 5.37, 95% CI 1.49 to 19.3); having little or no bodily pain (OR 2.90, 95% CI 1.25 to 6.73); and reporting having spiritual values or religious faith (OR 3.47, 95% CI 1.03 to 11.67).
Conclusions
A wide range of factors, including demographic, co-morbidity, quality of life, social support and lifestyle were found to be associated with pneumococcal vaccination status among older adults with clinically diagnosed CAP. The findings from this study could inform future pneumococcal immunization strategies by identifying individuals who are least likely to receive the PPV.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-10-44
PMCID: PMC2908082  PMID: 20591180
2.  Predictors of inhospital mortality and re-hospitalization in older adults with community-acquired pneumonia: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Geriatrics  2010;10:22.
Background
A better understanding of potentially modifiable predictors of in-hospital mortality and re-admission to the hospital following discharge may help to improve management of community-acquired pneumonia in older adults. We aimed to assess the associations of potentially modifiable factors with mortality and re-hospitalization in older adults hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia.
Methods
A prospective cohort study was conducted from July 2003 to April 2005 in two Canadian cities. Patients aged 65 years or older hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia were followed up for up to 30 days from initial hospitalization for mortality and these patients who were discharged alive within 30 days of initial hospitalization were followed up to 90 days of initial hospitalization for re-hospitalization. Separate logistic regression analyses were performed identify the predictors of mortality and re-hospitalization.
Results
Of 717 enrolled patients hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia, 49 (6.8%) died within 30 days of hospital admission. Among these patients, 526 were discharged alive within 30 days of hospitalization of whom 58 (11.2%) were re-hospitalized within 90 days of initial hospitalization. History of hip fracture (odds ratio (OR) = 4.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) = (1.46, 10.96), P = .007), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR = 2.31, 95% CI = (1.18, 4.50), P = .014), cerebrovascular disease (OR = 2.11, 95% CI = (1.03, 4.31), P = .040) were associated with mortality. Male sex (OR = 2.35, 95% CI = (1.13, 4.85), P = .022) was associated with re-hospitalization while vitamin E supplementation was protective (OR = 0.37 (0.16, 0.90), P = .028). Lower socioeconomic status, prior influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations, appropriate antibiotic prescription upon admission, and lower nutrition risk were not significantly associated with mortality or re-hospitalization.
Conclusion
Chronic comorbidities appear to be the most important predictors of death and re-hospitalization in older adults hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia while vitamin E supplementation was protective.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-10-22
PMCID: PMC2888820  PMID: 20459844
3.  Predictors of health decline in older adults with pneumonia: findings from the Community Acquired Pneumonia Impact Study 
BMC Geriatrics  2010;10:1.
Background
The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of health decline among older adults with clinically diagnosed community acquired pneumonia (CAP). It was hypothesized that older adults with CAP who had lower levels of social support would be more likely to report a decline in health.
Methods
A telephone survey was used to collect detailed information from older adults about their experiences with CAP. A broader determinants of health framework was used to guide data collection. This was a community wide study with participants being recruited from all radiology clinics in one Ontario community.
Results
The most important predictors of a health decline included: two symptoms (no energy; diaphoresis), two lifestyle variables (being very active; allowing people to smoke in their home), one quality of life variable (little difficulty in doing usual daily activities) and one social support variable (having siblings).
Conclusions
A multiplicity of factors was found to be associated with a decline in health among older adults with clinically diagnosed CAP. These findings may be useful to physicians, family caregivers and others for screening older adults and providing interventions to help ensure positive health outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-10-1
PMCID: PMC2820031  PMID: 20047677
4.  Pneumonia care and the nursing home: a qualitative descriptive study of resident and family member perspectives 
BMC Geriatrics  2006;6:2.
Background
Nursing home residents are frequently sent to hospital for diagnostic tests or to receive acute health care services. These transfers are both costly and for some, associated with increased risks. Although improved technology allows long-term care facilities to deliver more complex health care on site, if this is to become a trend then residents and family members must see the value of such care. This qualitative study examined resident and family member perspectives on in situ care for pneumonia.
Methods
A qualitative descriptive study design was used. Participants were residents and family members of residents treated for pneumonia drawn from a larger randomized controlled trial of a clinical pathway to manage nursing home-acquired pneumonia on-site. A total of 14 in-depth interviews were conducted. Interview data were analyzed using the editing style, described by Miller and Crabtree, to identify key themes.
Results
Both residents and family members preferred that pneumonia be treated in the nursing home, where possible. They both felt that caring and attention are key aspects of care which are more easily accessible in the nursing home setting. However, residents felt that staff or doctors should make the decision whether to hospitalize them, whereas family members wanted to be consulted or involved in the decision-making process.
Conclusion
These findings suggest that interventions to reduce hospitalization of nursing home residents with pneumonia are consistent with resident and family member preferences.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-6-2
PMCID: PMC1379645  PMID: 16430782
5.  Hospitalization and emergency department visits among seniors receiving homecare: a pilot study 
BMC Geriatrics  2005;5:9.
Background
Despite the recent growth in home health services, data on clinical outcomes and acute health care utilization among older adults receiving homecare services are sparse. Obtaining such data is particularly relevant in Ontario where an increasing number of frail seniors receiving homecare are awaiting placement in long-term care facilities. In order to determine the feasibility of a large-scale study, we conducted a pilot study to assess utilization of acute health care services among seniors receiving homecare to determine associated clinical outcomes.
Methods
This prospective cohort study followed forty-seven seniors admitted to homecare by two homecare agencies in Hamilton, Ontario over a 12-month period. Demographic information and medical history were collected at baseline, and patients were followed until either termination of homecare services, death, or end of study. The primary outcome was hospitalization. Secondary outcomes included emergency department visits that did not result in hospitalization and death. Rates of hospitalization and emergency department visits without admission were calculated, and univariate analyses were performed to test for potential risk factors. Survival curves for accumulative rates of hospitalization and emergency department visits were created.
Results
312 seniors were eligible for the study, of which 123 (39%) agreed to participate initially. After communicating with the research nurse, of the 123 who agreed to participate initially, 47 (38%) were enrolled in the study. Eleven seniors were hospitalized during 3,660 days of follow-up for a rate of 3.0 incident hospitalizations per 1,000 homecare-days. Eleven seniors had emergency department visits that did not result in hospitalization, for a rate of 3.3 incident emergency department visits per 1,000 homecare-days. There were no factors significantly associated with hospitalization or emergency department visits when adjustment was made for multiple comparisons.
Conclusion
The incidence of hospitalization and visits to the emergency department among seniors receiving homecare services is high. Getting satisfactory levels of enrolment will be a major challenge for larger prospective studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-5-9
PMCID: PMC1188058  PMID: 16014173
6.  Identifying research priorities on infections in older adults: proceedings of an interdisciplinary workshop 
BMC Geriatrics  2001;1:1.
Background
Infections pose a substantial burden to the health of older adults. In this report, we describe the proceedings of a workshop to formulate and prioritize research questions about infections in older adults using an interdisciplinary approach.
Methods
Researchers from four sectors (basic science, clinical sciences, health services and epidemiology/determinants of health) and representatives from various Canadian local, provincial, and federal stakeholder groups were invited to a two-day workshop. Five multi-disciplinary groups and stakeholders from each of three healthcare settings (long term, acute care and community) discussed research priorities for each of the settings. Five to ten research questions were identified for each setting.
Results
The research questions proposed ranged from risk factors and outcomes for different infections to the effect of nutrition on infection and the role of alternative and complementary medicine in treating infections. Health service issues included barriers to immunization, prolongation of hospital length of stay by infection, use of care paths for managing infections, and decision-making in determining the site of care for individuals with infections. Clinical questions included risk factor assessment for infection, the effectiveness of preventative strategies, and technology evaluation. Epidemiologic issues included the challenge of achieving a better understanding of respiratory infections in the community and determining the prevalence of colonization with multi-resistant bacteria.
Conclusions
The questions are of direct relevance to researchers in a wide variety of fields. Bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers to frame and prioritize research questions about aging is feasible, participants valued the opinions of people working in other areas.
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-1-1
PMCID: PMC48148  PMID: 11532199

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