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Time trends in general practitioners’ home visits for older patients: a retrospective cross-sectional study from Switzerland

Original article
Neuner-Jehle S, Graber SM, Keizer E, Huber C, Blozik E, Rosemann T, Senn O
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20539

The number of home visits by general practitioners (GPs) has decreased in recent years, in contrast to the increasing number of frail and older patients in western countries. Current data on GP home visit numbers and rates are lacking for Switzerland. This study provides new data on GP home visit numbers and rates, and their associations with patient characteristics. There is an ongoing decline of GP home visits over past years, with a potentially negative impact on the quality of care for older and frail patients.

Implementation of a telemedicine geriatric co-evaluation in the emergency department: a prospective pilot study

Original article
Matz O, Villa L, Lecce C, Olaciregui Dague K, Haeger A, Bollheimer LC, Laurentius T, Rossaint R, Brokmann J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20500

Complex drug management is a common challenge in the treatment of geriatric patients. Pandemic scenarios, such as the current one (COVID-19), call for a reduction of face-to-face meetings, especially for elderly patients. The aim of the present study was to compare the innovative concept of applying telemedical assessment to geriatric patients in the emergency department (ED) with ED standard treatment. A special focus was the use of potentially inadequate drugs for geriatric patients according to the “Fit for the Aged” (FORTA) classification.

Social mixing and risk exposures for SARS-CoV-2 infections in elderly persons

Original article
Haag C, Höglinger M, Moser A, Hämmig O, Puhan M, von Wyl V
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20416

Although many elderly persons continued to follow the recommended preventive measures during the transitional phase between the two pandemic waves, social mixing with younger persons constitutes a way for transmission of infections across age groups. Pandemic containment among all age groups thus remains essential to protect vulnerable populations, including the elderly.

Conference report: dementia research and care and its impact in Switzerland

Special article
Leyhe T, Jucker M, Nef T, Sollberger M, Riese F, Haba-Rubio J, Verloo H, Lüthi R, Becker S, Popp J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20376

A Swiss panel of experts met for the Dementia Summit in Brunnen, Switzerland, to discuss the latest scientific findings on basic and clinical research, as well as practical and political approaches to the challenges of dementia disorders in Switzerland. Here, they present the conference summary.

Outcomes after spinal stenosis surgery by type of surgery in adults aged 60 years and older

Original article
Degen T, Fischer K, Theiler R, Schären S, Meyer OW, Wanner G, Chocano-Bedoya P, Simmen HP, Schmid UD, Steurer J, Stähelin HB, Mantegazza N, Bischoff-Ferrari HA
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20325

Social, cultural and experiential patterning of attitudes and behaviour towards assisted suicide in Switzerland: evidence from a national population-based study

Original article
Vilpert S, Bolliger E, Borrat-Besson C, Borasio GD, Maurer J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20275

Switzerland has the longest history of the legal practice of non-physician assisted suicide of any country. Assisted suicide is not very tightly regulated in Switzerland, and almost all assisted suicides are supported by a right-to-die organisation.

Frailty, underweight and impaired mobility are associated with institutionalisation after post-acute care

Original article
Tröster T, Thalmann M, Fischer K, Bieri-Brüning G, Beeler PE, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gagesch M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20276

Frailty, low Short Physical Performance Battery score and being underweight at admission to PAC were significantly associated with a higher chance of subsequent institutionalisation. Strategies to improve these factors could improve post-acute care outcomes.

Age, comorbidity, frailty status: effects on disposition and resource allocation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Viewpoint
Nickel CH, Rueegg M, Pargger H, Bingisser R
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20269

Three aspects are of utmost importance: first, determination of frailty status (and not just the patient’s age), second, balancing of benefits and harms while considering the most likely outcome taking comorbidity into account, and third, shared decision-making focusing on the individual’s goals of care.

COVID-19 pandemic: palliative care for elderly and frail patients at home and in residential and nursing homes

Special article
Kunz R, Minder M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20235

The current pandemic and the publication of the SAMS Guidelines “COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity” have prompted the Association for Geriatric Palliative Medicine to prepare these recommendations for practice.

The oldest old: the newest focus in end-of-life care?

Viewpoint
Chambaere K
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20206

Older people living with serious illness and multiple old-age related co-morbidities are regarded as a group in a highly vulnerable position when it comes to decision making at the end of life. They are largely unempowered and prone to medical paternalism and ageism. Their low functional status can lead to therapeutic pessimism.

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