Inpatient care for elderly cancer patients: the role for Geriatric Evaluation and Management Units in fulfilling goals for care.
PURPOSE: To describe patterns of functional status, symptoms, therapeutic goals and outcomes among older adults with cancer diagnoses hospitalized on a Geriatric Evaluation and Management Unit (GEMU). DESIGN AND METHODS: Retrospective chart review of veterans with a cancer diagnosis consecutively admitted to a Department of Veterans Affairs GEMU between 1996 and 1999. RESULTS: Thirty-six veterans with cancer diagnoses, average age of 80+/-5.0 years, 100% men, 50% white, 39% married were admitted during the target period. Comorbid illness was common (mean +/- S.D. = 4.6+/-2.0) as were associated symptoms (mean = 2.5+/-1.9). Average Karnofsky performance status was 55+/-7. Goals were accomplished 78% of the time for diagnosis, 73% for symptom management, 79% for functional improvement, and 100% for disposition/caregiver support. IMPLICATIONS: Elderly oncology patients admitted to a GEMU display diverse needs and goals that are realistic and attainable in this context. In-patient GEMU services represent a promising approach to care for older cancer patients, and deserve further evaluation of benefits and risks.
Garman, KS; McConnell, ES; Cohen, HJ
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)