Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

Efficacy of nurse-led and general practitioner-led comprehensive geriatric assessment in primary care: protocol of a pragmatic three-arm cluster randomised controlled trial (CEpiA study).

Ferrat E, Bastuji-Garin S, Paillaud E, Caillet P, Clerc P, Moscova L, Gouja A, Renard V, Attali C, Le Breton J, Audureau E BMJ Open. 2018;8(4):e020597.

INTRODUCTION: Older patients raise therapeutic challenges, because they constitute a heterogeneous population with multimorbidity. To appraise this complexity, geriatricians have developed a multidimensional comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA), which may be difficult to apply in primary care settings. Our primary objective was to compare the effect on morbimortality of usual care compared with two complex interventions combining educational seminars about CGA: a dedicated geriatric hotline for general practitioners (GPs) and CGA by trained nurses or GPs.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing study is an open-label, pragmatic, multicentre, three-arm, cluster randomised controlled trial comparing two intervention groups and one control group. Patients must be 70 years or older with a long-term illness or with unscheduled hospitalisation in the past 3 months (750 patients planned). This study involves volunteering GPs practising in French primary care centres, with randomisation at the practice level. The multifaceted interventions for interventional arms comprise an educational interactive multiprofessional seminar for GPs and nurses, a geriatric hotline dedicated to GPs in case of difficulties and the performance of a CGA updated to primary care. The CGA is systematically performed by a nurse in arm 1 but is GP-led on a case-by-case basis in arm 2. The primary endpoint is a composite criterion comprising overall death, unscheduled hospitalisations, emergency admissions and institutionalisation within 12 months after inclusion. Intention-to-treat analysis will be performed using mixed-effects logistic regression models, with adjustment for potential confounders.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol was approved by an appropriate ethics committee (CPP Ile-de-France IV, Paris, France, approval April 2015;15 664). This study is conducted according to principles of good clinical practice in the context of current care and will provide useful knowledge on the clinical benefits achievable by CGA in primary care.


MeSH terms: Aged; Chronic Disease; Clinical Competence; Clinical Protocols; Cluster Analysis; France; General Practitioners; Geriatric Assessment; Hospitalization; Hotlines; Humans; Nurses; Patient-Centered Care; Primary Health Care; Quality of Life; Treatment Outcome
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020597