Older people are a heterogeneous group of patients, with large differences in the degree of frailty, level of functioning and quality of life. The individual situation of the patient is particularly important for those older patients who have to undergo a drastic treatment: for example, surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In the project "Triaging Elderly Needing Treatment" (TENT), IEMO is investigating how we can predict outcomes for older patients who need a drastic treatment.
For the vulnerable older patient, additional measures may need to be taken or a smaller intervention might be better for the quality of life. In the ideal situation, we would be able to tell all individual older patients exactly how big the risks are for negative outcomes, but a good instrument for that does not yet exist.
In the TENT project, a large group of patients (starting with the Leiden University Medical Centre) are studied from the moment they visit a doctor in the hospital. This could be a surgeon, an ENT doctor, a gynaecologist or another doctor. By carrying out a screening that maps the four geriatric domains, a complete picture is obtained of the patient's status. That is already standard care now. But by linking that to the systematic follow-up of patients, we can learn which factors are predictive of a good or bad outcome. With this, we can map the older patient even better in the future.
Part of the study is a collaboration with Philips. For some of the elderly people who visit the hospital, activity levels will be measured with the aid of exercise meters and it will be investigated whether the level of activity is predictive for outcomes.
The study started in October 2014.