Suspected infections in frail elderly

Can new technique for inter-professional collaboration, involving the frail elderly and next of kin facilitate early on detection of infections and lower admissions to hospital?

It is well known that detection of suspected infection in frail elderly residents at nursing homes (NHR) is difficult and that diagnose and treatment can be delayed due to underreported unspecific signs and symptoms. The frail elderly themselves and their next of kin are together with nursing assistants (NA) often the first to early on notice
subtle changes that might be signs and symptoms of suspected infection.

An instrument Early detection of infection scale (EDIS) for assessment of nonspecific signs and symptoms has been developed. We want to study if; trustworthy assessments of unspecific signs and symptoms; effective inter-professional collaboration (IPC ) involving the frail elderly and their next of kin; together with technical tools for communication can lead to a faster and safer care with less admissions to hospital and better quality of life for the frail elderly.

Study 1: has a qualitative developmental approach where EDIS first will be transformed to user-friendly tablet application and then evaluated in practice by health-care professionals, elderly NHR and their next of kin.

Study 2: is an ethnographic field study in order to observe the use of the EDIS application tool in IPC teams.

Study 3: is a quantitative comparative multicentre study, with NHs as intervention and control group, measuring the effects of using EDIS on admission to hospital, mortality, antibiotic treatments and activities of daily life.

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