The primary objective of this study was to describe a model for specialized psychogeriatric consultation to long-term care homes in a large metropolitan Canadian city and to provide an overview of the diagnostic and demographic data of patients referred for assessment.
Forty long-term care homes and 13 geriatric mental health outreach teams were surveyed and provided feedback on the model. A retrospective chart review (N=88) was also conducted to confirm the survey results and to provide an overview of the types of patients being seen.
Team data indicated that 96% of the homes they served (N=81) were using their services, that all referrals were appropriate, and that their recommendations were implemented in over 50% of cases. Referred patients tended to be older (41% age 85 or older); were referred mainly for agitation, aggression, or depressed mood (over 90%); and mainly had a mood or cognitive disorder (over 90%).
These preliminary data suggest that the implementation of specialized psychogeriatric consultation to long-term care may be beneficial, but future studies are required to clarify its usefulness.