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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Jun;57(6):1088-95.

The "continuum of care" for older adults: design and evaluation of an educational series.

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Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Hopkins ElderPlus, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5505 Hopkins Bayview Circle, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Geriatricians work within a continuum of health services designed to meet the diverse care needs of older adults. They must develop expertise in these care models and be able to guide safe and efficient transitions. This article describes a 9-week educational series designed to review the evidence base and practical aspects of implementing key services that span the continuum of care for older adults. The sessions in the series covered geriatric assessment, ambulatory care, acute hospital, house call, hospital-at-home, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, assisted living, inpatient consultation, rehabilitation, nursing home, chronic hospital, and palliative care and hospice. To assess the educational effect of these sessions, evaluations were collected at the end of each session, including one "summative evaluation" after the completion of the entire 9-week series. The vast majority (97%) of survey responses evaluating individual sessions were positive (scores of 4 or 5 on a 5-point Likert scale), and 89% of responses on the summative evaluation were in that range. This educational series efficiently provides a sequential "tour" of health services for older adults, allowing learners to appreciate the continuum of geriatric care models and relationships between services. Feedback from attendees suggests that this format increases knowledge of health services along the continuum of care for older adults and does so in an efficient manner for learners at different levels of training.

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