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Are elderly patients' opinions sought before admission to an intensive care unit? Results of the ICE-CUB study

Abstract : Background - demand for intensive care of the very elderly is growing, but few studies report inclusion of their opinions in the admission decision-making process. Whether or not to refer a very elderly patient to intensive care unit is a difficult decision that should take into account individual wishes, out of respect for the patient's decision-making autonomy.

Methods - in 15 emergency departments, patients over 80 years old who had a potential indication for admission to intensive care, and that were capable of expressing their opinion were included. Frequency of opinions sought before referral decision and individual and organisational factors associated were recorded and analysed.

Results - a total of 2,115 patients were included. Only 270 (12.7%) of them were asked for their opinion, and there were marked variations between study centres (minimum: 1.1% and maximum: 53.6%). A history of dementia reduced the probability of a patient being asked for his or her opinion (OR 0.47, 95% CI: 0.25-0.83). Patients' opinion was most often sought when their functional autonomy was conserved (OR 2.10, 95% CI: 1.39-3.21) and when a relative had been questioned (OR 5.46, 95% CI: 3.8-7.88). Older attending physicians were less likely to ask for the patient's opinion (older physician versus younger physician, OR 0.48, 95% CI: 0.35-0.66).

Conclusions - elderly patients are therefore rarely asked for their opinion prior to intensive care admission. Our results indicate that respect of the decision-making autonomy of elderly subjects in the admission process to an intensive care unit should be reinforced.

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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01376240
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 3:12:10 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 11:58:39 AM

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Julien Le Guen, Ariane Boumendil, Bertrand Guidet, Aline Corvol, Olivier Saint-Jean, et al.. Are elderly patients' opinions sought before admission to an intensive care unit? Results of the ICE-CUB study. Age and Ageing, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2016, 45 (2), pp.303-309. ⟨10.1093/ageing/afv191⟩. ⟨hal-01376240⟩

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