Research Priorities

GEAR 2.0

The Geriatric Emergency care Applied Research Network 2.0 (GEAR 2.0) aims to establish infrastructure to support collaborative, interdisciplinary research to improve care for older adults with dementia. Learn more below about dementia, and the implications on emergency department (ED) care for older adults, as well our specific Work Group topics designed to address these implications.

Cognitive Impairment: Dementia

People with dementia are twice as likely to use the ED and 1.5 times more likely to have an avoidable visit. When in the ED, they often struggle and are at greater risk of poor outcomes.

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Work Group Topics

Communication & Decision Making

Clear communication and decision-making are essential components to optimizing care for patients in the ED. This is particularly true for patients who have impaired cognition, including persons with dementia (PwD) who require clear communication and decision-making among multiple parties—the ED, their care partners, and themselves.

Detection

Dementia often goes unrecognized in older ED patients. When they have an impaired cognition that is undiagnosed, ED care becomes more difficult and patient communications and outcomes often suffer. 

Care Transitions

Care transitions are common for ED patients. When patients have impaired cognition, such as dementia, the transition between care providers and settings can be upsetting or confusing.  Additionally, the transfer of information between providers, patients, and caretakers adds a layer of complication and complexity that can diminish optimal care. 

ED Practices

Developing and implementing ED best practices optimizes care for ED patients. Patients who have impaired cognition, such as dementia, are especially in need of optimal practices to ensure quality of care. 

All GEAR 2.0 work groups will use the PICO approach to develop key questions and identify research gaps for their topic area. The work groups will conduct literature searches, summarize findings, extract conclusions and present findings at the consensus conference.