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Open Access Commentary

Geriatric consultation services-are wards more effective than teams?

Ian D Cameron12* and Susan Kurrle12

Author Affiliations

1 Rehabilitation Studies Unit, Sydney Medical School Northern, University of Sydney, Ryde, NSW, Australia

2 Curran Chair in Healthcare of Older People, Sydney Medical School Northern, University of Sydney, Hornsby, NSW, Australia

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BMC Medicine 2013, 11:49  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-49

Please see related research article here

Published: 22 February 2013


Geriatric consultation teams are one of the models for bringing comprehensive geriatric assessment to vulnerable and frail older people in the acute care hospital setting. While ward-based comprehensive geriatric assessment has been established as effective with reference to improving functional status and other outcomes, the team-based variant remains unproven for outcomes other than mortality in the medium term, as shown in a recent study published in BMC Medicine by Deschodt and colleagues. Further research might establish the effectiveness of the team-based model but, for current clinical practice, the emphasis should be on streaming older people with complex problems needing multidisciplinary assessment and treatment to ward-based models of comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Acute care; functional status; geriatric consultation; multidisciplinary assessment