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cognitive impairment, evidence-based intervention, family caregivers, older adults, research participation, transitional care



  1. McCauley, Kathleen PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA
  2. Bradway, Christine PhD, CRNP, FAAN
  3. Hirschman, Karen B. PhD, MSW
  4. Naylor, Mary D. PhD, RN, FAAN


Overview: Although it increases the risk of poor outcomes and raises the costs of care, cognitive impairment in hospitalized older adults is often neither accurately identified nor well managed. In conducting a two-phase, comparative-effectiveness clinical trial of the effects of three nursing interventions-augmented standard care, resource nurse care, and the transitional care model-on hospitalized older adults with cognitive deficits, a team of researchers encountered several challenges. For example, in assessing potential subjects for the study, they found that nearly half of those assessed had cognitive impairment, yet many family caregivers could not be identified or had no interest in participating in the study. One lesson the researchers learned was that research involving cognitively impaired older adults must actively engage clinicians, patients, and family caregivers, as well as address the complex process of managing postdischarge care.