A Casefinding and Referral System for Older Veterans Within Primary Care

2014-07-24 14:35:07 | BioPortfolio


Underdiagnosis and undertreatment of elderly persons remains a widespread problem. While many innovative geriatric care programs exist within VHA, we still lack a systematic process for identifying at-risk elders from the larger VA population who are likely to benefit from specialized geriatric services.



Underdiagnosis and undertreatment of elderly persons remains a widespread problem. While many innovative geriatric care programs exist within VHA, we still lack a systematic process for identifying at-risk elders from the larger VA population who are likely to benefit from specialized geriatric services.


Our goal is to improve care for at-risk older veterans through a comprehensive system of casefinding, assessment, referral and follow-up within the primary care setting. We hypothesize that subjects receiving this intervention will have more complete evaluation and treatment for selected geriatric conditions (i.e., falls, urinary incontinence, functional status impairments, depression, and cognitive deficits), better continuity of care, less decline in functional status, and better general health than subjects receiving usual care.


This randomized controlled trial is being performed at the Sepulveda VA Outpatient Clinic. The study sample is composed of community-dwelling veterans aged 65 and older who are not receiving VA geriatric services. Veterans are mailed a health screening survey to identify those at risk for decline based on criteria established in pilot work. At-risk respondents who are in the intervention group receive a structured telephone assessment (casefinding) and referral to appropriate geriatric services, including a geriatric assessment and teaching clinic integrated with primary care, and telephone case management. Subjects in the control group receive usual care. Major outcome measures collected by telephone interview at baseline, 12, 24, and 36 months include functional status, self-rated health, satisfaction, and health care utilization. Medical records are reviewed for evidence of evaluation and treatment of the target conditions.


Data collection for this project was completed on September 30, 2001. The subject recruitment phase was completed in August, 1998. Collection of 36 month follow-up data has been completed for all subjects enrolled. Data analysis and preparation of publication is in press.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Casefinding and Referral System


VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System
United States




Department of Veterans Affairs

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:35:07-0400

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