Health Outcomes That Matter to Older People

25 October 2019

Asangaedem Akpan is a Consultant Physician in Geriatric and General (Internal) Medicine at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He will be speaking at the upcoming BGS Autumn Meeting in the 'health outcomes that matter to older people' session. He tweets @asanakpan

It gives me a great delight to have the opportunity to raise awareness through this blog of a forthcoming talk on this topic by four of us. Tom Gentry from Age UK on policy, Enid Hoole, a retired school teacher on living with a long-term condition and what’s important to her and her peers, Justine Shenton, a social worker by background and an Older Persons Forum Coordinator with a large network of older people, and of course myself giving some overview of the published literature in this area to date including some of mine.

Whether it’s PROMs (patient related outcome measures) or some other variation of this, the key is we do need to understand and appreciate what matters to the people we provide care to irrespective of what our professional background is. The next paradigm shift is to interpret what matters to people, using our professional knowledge and training to align with those things. That way we are unlikely to get it wrong and then both the people we care for and ourselves will be satisfied that we have done a good job.

So what’s on offer at the conference? Each of us will come at this from a differing perspective but the end result will be you, the audience, leaving with a very clear concept of what matters to older people and some ideas for your consideration.

Enid will share her personal experience, from her diagnosis to how she feels now, including her expectations and how her outcomes of interest could be met.

Justine, in her role as organiser of the Older Persons forum with many years of working with older people, will distil those into outcomes that older people are interested in when they interact with healthcare providers.

Tom will approach this from how the government, institutions and the wider society has and could respond to what matters to older people.

I will offer a summary of what has been published to date on this, including some recent work such as a project completed by a university of Liverpool medical student Kathryn Tipping on what matters to older people with frailty, which is also being presented as an abstract in the conference


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