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Z Gerontol Geriatr. 2018 Jul;51(5):509-516. doi: 10.1007/s00391-017-1339-7. Epub 2017 Nov 6.

[Dementia friendly care services in general hospitals : Representative results of the general hospital study (GHoSt)].

[Article in German]

Author information

Fakultät Sozialwesen, Hochschule Mannheim, Paul-Wittsack-Straße 10, 68163, Mannheim, Deutschland.
Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, TU München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, München, Deutschland.
Fakultät Sozialwesen, Hochschule Mannheim, Paul-Wittsack-Straße 10, 68163, Mannheim, Deutschland.
Hochschule für Soziale Arbeit Olten, Fachhochschule Nordschweiz, Olten, Schweiz.
Fakultät Sozialwesen, Hochschule Mannheim, Paul-Wittsack-Straße 10, 68163, Mannheim, Deutschland.



Mostly model projects report on special care services and procedures for general hospital patients with cognitive impairment. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of special care services and procedures in general hospitals on the basis of a representative cross-sectional study.


From a list of all general hospitals in southern Germany we randomly selected a specified number of hospitals und somatic wards. The hospitals were visited and all older patients on the selected wards on that day were included in the study. Information about care services and their utilization was collected with standardized instruments.


A total of 33 general hospitals and 172 wards participated in the study. The patient sample included 1469 persons over 65 (mean age 78.6 years) and 40% of the patients showed cognitive impairments. The staff reported that the most frequent measures for patients with cognitive impairments concerned patients with wandering behavior (63.1%), efforts to involve the patients' relatives to help with their daily care (60.1%), conducting nonintrusive interviews to identify cognitive impairments (59.9%), allocation to other rooms (58%) and visual aids for place orientation of patients (50.6%). In accordance with earlier studies our results show that other dementia friendly services implemented in pilot projects were rare. The existing special services for patients with cognitive impairment were rarely used by the patients or their relatives.


The results demonstrate the urgent need to improve special care services and routines for identification of elderly patients with cognitive impairment and risk of delirium in general hospitals.


Cognitive impairment; Dementia friendly care services; General hospitals; Older patients; Representative study


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